Massive libxo-zation that breaks everything

Arseny Nasokin eirnym at
Tue Mar 3 22:14:15 UTC 2015

On 2 March 2015 at 00:25, Craig Rodrigues <rodrigc at> wrote:

> On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 10:49 AM, Harrison Grundy <
> harrison.grundy at> wrote:
> > Thanks!
> >
> > That does seem useful, but I'm not sure I see the reasoning behind
> > putting into base, over a port or package
> >
> > , since processing XML in base is a pain, and it can't serve up JSON or
> > HTML without additional
> > utilities anyway.
> >
> I think if you take another pass at reading the entire thread  of responses
> to see the discussion for the motivation behind libxo, you will get the
> idea:
> There are many people who are building products on top of FreeBSD.
> For these people, it is super useful for the base utilities in FreeBSD
> to emit output in properly formatted XML or JSON.
> That way, they do not need to write scripts to take the output of
> say, netstat, and use awk/sed/whatever scripts to take the human readable
> netstat output and convert it to a form which can be used in a script.
> There are many, many parsers for XML and JSON not in the base system.
> For people building products on top of FreeBSD, they don't care
> if these parsers are not in the base, since they can add these parsers on
> top of base FreeBSD.
> For example, languages like Python and Ruby have excellent parsers
> for JSON and XML.  Many people build products using these languages.
> There are JSON and XML parsers in C, C++, and other languages as well.
> In addition to people building products, the other audience of people who
> benefit from libxo are devops people.
> These days, devops folks have no problem using Python, Ruby, Perl,
> whatever to write scripts to interact with Unix boxes and pull information
> off of it.  Having the base utilities emit info in native JSON or XML
> greatly facilitates this.
> I talked to one person who is improving FreeBSD support for Saltstack (a
> devops framework).   He told me
> that if more base utilities such as sysctl, could use libxo to emit output
> in JSON, that would greatly facilitate improving FreeBSD support for
> these devops frameworks.  That is because Saltstack would require
> less FreeBSD-specific parsing code for getting info from base utilities.
> --
> Craig
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I think it's bad idea. If you look deep inside Mac OS X, you'll find
plist(5) or similar format output of few utilities. They leave application
output as is, and give library access (with Objective C Frameworks) to
everyone who want to build anything. It includes Scripting Bridge interface
to have public API to any program which exposes it.

Yes, programs has libraries to be able to read and output JSON/XML/Plist
formats natively.

The better idea is give well-designed API and language bindings like
py-objc or jpype for example.

I don't think you really need libdf if you have libutil(3) to have
information about free space.

-- Eir Nym

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