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I think what Alaric means is that this config file (seen as an example)
holds information for two targets: the software it is used to configure
and the human interested in the file. If the comments are deleted and
the information items they represented are not somewhere else or cannot
be discovered, this information is essentially lost and "breaks" is all
about the human factor.
Also related with XML applications disgarding comments in their internal
Cavnar-Johnson, John wrote:
>>From: Alaric B. Snell [mailto:email@example.com]
>>Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 4:23 AM
>>To: Rick Jelliffe; firstname.lastname@example.org
>>Subject: Re: [xml-dev] On the promotion and demotion of information
>>(was Re: [xml-dev] RE: Take 2 - How do you replace comments from XML?)
>>What happens to this .Net config file if you strip out the comments?
>>Presumably something breaks, unless the file isn't really a config
>>is just a representation of information stored in some other format
>>so the information isn't truly lost?
> BZZZZT! Wrong. Nothing breaks. Have you ever seen a .NET
> machine.config file? The comments in the machine.config file are
> exactly that, comments. They really are simply the documentation of the
> meaning of the values in the config file. The comments are information
> of great use to a human being looking at the file and meaningless to
> machine processing. The items in the original poster's config file
> (including those particular comments) aren't even part of the default
> machine.config file.
> What is it about this list that so often entices people to make
> ridiculous pronouncements concerning matters about which they know
> absolutely nothing?
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