Nicolas Williams' source environment variables

David Collier-Brown davecb at
Sat Jan 29 17:44:19 GMT 2000

  I've been wondering about what programming primitives one needs
in and smb.conf ile fro a long time, and Mr. Williams' patch
re-raises this question.
  In a very early version of the O'Reilly book, I described the
smb.conf file as having all the basic primitives of a programming
	variable assignment
	conditional code ("include" and "copy" using a %-variable)
	blocks (files, sections)
but lacking a way of setting a %-variable.

  This was too academic, and promptly disappeard from the book,
but it is a decent question of the development team: how much
programmability should there be in the main smb.conf file?

  I've seen two proposal to extend the language: 
  One was from a site with a very large .conf file that contained 
the definition of all the shares for a cloud of servers. They wanted
a way to ignore inappropriaste shares, and save memory thereby.
  The other is Mr. Williams' proposal, to do conditionals on
netbios names, and to provide a general ${env-var} construct, which
they use for Samba-failover on a Veritas HA server.

  On the other hand, smb.conf is a much easier language to read and
maintain than, say, tcl.  We may well want to keep it that way!

  So: what about a way to set a variable (environment or %)? Does
that buy enough to make it worth the extra complexity?

David Collier-Brown,  | Always do right. This will gratify
185 Ellerslie Ave.,   | some people and astonish the rest.
Willowdale, Ontario,  |                      -- Mark Twain
CANADA. 416-223-8968  | davecb at

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