XML editing for dynamic subsystems

Emery Hemingway emery at ...261...
Fri May 5 02:14:52 CEST 2017

Hello list,

To continue last month's interactive GUI thread, I have a proposal for
the interplay between GUIs and the subsystem manager.

I too would like a new way of launching and managing subsystems, but I
prefer not dedicate any on-screen area for persistent menus. I would
also live without any buttons if I could. I did some prototyping and
found that I gravitate towards short-lived terminal components for user
interaction as opposed to long-lived components such as cli_monitor or
launcher. Rather than rework what I had into something that can appear
and disappear in its lifetime, I figured that XML editing via Report
sessions can support ephemeral menus and would require no
modification of existing components.

I have a simple proof of concept that opens a file for writing and
responds to Report requests to add or remove XML nodes from the
file's top-level element. This combined with fs_rom is enought to
dynamically add and remove subsystems from init. Its too rough to
publish now but it never need be a complictated implementation.

I mentioned this to Christian Helmuth off-list and he suggested that it
would be a transactional editor, which makes perfect sense. The tree
can contain inline edit annotations or the XML could be stored as
different revision files with a symlink pointer to the current
version. This would allow for configuration replay without a lot of
overhead or specialized tooling.

Does this seem like a reasonable style of init mangagment that we can
all get along with, I missing something?

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