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libprf1 library provides cross-platform,
multi-language support for accessing the
configuration files. PRF 1.0 (Preferences Registry Format) is
an XML-based simple, yet
very useful, extensible configuration file format.
Mission and Scope
- What problem does this project address?
A search on the Web (using Google) for a cross-platform library
for managing persistent application configuration data in Python or
C/C++ (or even Java) didn't give any good results back in October
2003, when I needed it, writing a cross-platform GUI application in
Python, so I decided to design a new simple format for helping
managing configuration data and write a library for it.
So, answering the question, the problem of a lack of a simple,
good, fairly independent (in sense of computer and OS platform)
toolkit library for managing configuration data in applications has
lead me to developing a new format and a new library. I liked the
results I achieved, so I decided to make them public.
- What is the goal of this project?
- Provide programmers with a useful and easy to use design
solution for storing configuration data everywhere. The
basic idea of PRF 1.0 library's API is to abstract configuration
data structures into a common "container" idiom and define
interfaces, common to containers. NOTE: The
resulting solution *must* be platform- and
language-independent. Implementing as much variants of the same API
as possible is encouraged.
- Release at least two or three implementations of the PRF 1.0 API: in Python, C++ and Java
programming languages, for this library to be useful in many
operating and development environments.
- What is the scope of this project?
- We will be focused on developing the library, the API
documentation and additional usage/implementation
documentation. Developing the
PRF format is also part
of the effort (since the library is closely related to this
The Python implementation is pre-beta
quality. The C++ implementation has been initiated lately and is
alpha quality. Many features are not implemented
yet, but the work is continued.
Resources and schedule
- What are the deadlines for this project?
- 06-05-2004: Released the first alpha version of the C++
implementation of the library
- 20-04-2004: Release a useful beta version of the Python
module. Start implementing the C++ version of the library.
- 31-01-2004: Release the first alpha version of the
libprf1-python. Start developing the C++
implementation of the library (
- 26-01-2004: PRF 1.0 API Specification and Implementation Notes
completion and freeze. Start developing the Python implementation of
the API (
- Who is working on this project?
- Andrei Sosnin (aka
- What capital resources are allocated to this project?
- Developers' home PCs
- Open-source software:
- GNU/Linux operating system
- Python interpreter
- GNU Compilers Collection (g++)
- GNU Emacs editor
- ArgoUML design tool
- Freely redistributable software:
- Java 2 SE SDK and Runtime Environment
- Other software
- Open-source development community web-sites, such as
- Open standards and architectures: freely available technical
- Tallinn Technical University
Library with lots of IT and CS literature.
- What are the main legal concerns for this project?
- Patents: we may use some technologies, that may
be patented in some countries. Technologies potentially involved
are: GIF, UML, XMI... We will try to avoid this, but nothing we can
guarantee in this concern. Note, that the file format and
algorithms, used in the library implementation are unlikely to be
patented, though users could check that too, if they are concerned
The Python module uses
PyXML DOM Level 2
extension to the Standard Python Library for accessing XML. More
information can be found on PyXML
. It is recommended to use version 0.8.3 or later of
The C++ implementation (
depends on the Apache
library, namely, on its DOM Level 2 API
implementation. The library occasionally makes use of the DOM Level 3
API as well. The version of the
which the libprf-c++ library is being developed is 2.3.0.
Implementations in other languages, if any, will have
- What are your ranked design goals?
The following goals apply:
- Correctness: This design correctly matches the given
- Feasibility: This design can be implemented and tested with
the planned amount of time and effort.
- Understandability: Developers can understand this design and
correctly implement it.
- Implementation phase guidance: This design divides the
implementation into components or aspects that can correspond to
reasonable implementation tasks.
- Modularity: Concerns are clearly separated so that the impact
of most design changes would be limited to only one or a few
- Extensibility: New features can be easily added later.
- Testability: It is easy to test components of this design
independently, and information is available to help diagnose
- Efficiency: The design enables the system to perform functions
with an acceptable amount of time, storage space, bandwidth, and
- Design documents
Current UML class diagrams: