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Programming language: Haskell
License: MIT License
Tags: Configuration    

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README

tini: a Tiny INI file and generic configuration library

Hackage MIT License Build Status Hackage Dependencies

What?

This library provides tools for working with INI-like configuration files. Unlike most other INI libraries, it is not blazing fast or built with cutting-edge libraries. Instead, it assumes that you are using INI-like configuration files because you want something simple and lightweight.

Tini provides the following features:

  • A simple interface to INI configuration: reading/writing an INI config to/from files and getting/setting/removing its values.
  • Automatic de/serialization of lists, optional values and base types.
  • High-level generic configuration type library built on top, freeing you from ever having to think about how you interact with your INI files.
  • Certified bloat-free: only depends on base.
  • Small and auditable: <400 lines of code excluding documentation.

Why?

Don't use a sledgehammer with several dozen transitive dependencies when a light touch will do the trick.

I tried to find an INI parsing library which wouldn't triple the number of dependencies in a small, security-critical project I was working on, so I wrote my own. This library depends only on base, and uses simple string splitting to parse INI files. This approach may be significantly slower and less "proper" than using a state of the art parsing combinator library, but it's also a lot simpler.

How?

Reading/writing an INI file:

Tini provides simple basic functionality for reading and writing INI files.

config.ini:

[User]
name = Bilbo
; Bilbo is ooold!
age = 110

example1.hs:

{-# LANGUAGE OverloadedStrings #-}
import Data.Tini

main = do
  Just ini <- readIniFile "config.ini"
  let Just user = get ini "User.name"
      Just age = get ini "User.age"
  putStrLn ("Hello " ++ user ++ ", you just got one year older!")
  writeIniFile "config.ini" (set ini "User.age" (age+1 :: Int))

Output: Hello Bilbo, you just got one year older!

config.ini, post-update:

[User]
name = Bilbo
; Bilbo is ooold!
age = 111

Automatically (de)serializing a config

Often, you don't really care about the specifics of your configuration; you just want to be able to serialize and de-serialize a configuration data type in a more robust manner than what show and read provides. This is when you use Data.Tini.Configurable.

config.ini:

; Note the lack of a section heading!
name = Bilbo
age = 110

example2.hs:

{-# LANGUAGE DeriveGeneric #-}
import Data.Tini.Configurable

data User = User
  { name :: String
  , age :: Int
  } deriving Generic

instance Configurable User where
  defaultConfig = User { name = "Default User", age = 0 }

main = do
  conf <- readConfigFile "config.ini"
  putStrLn ("Hello " ++ name conf ++ ", you just got one year older!")
  updateConfigFile "config.ini" (conf { age = age conf + 1 })

config.ini, post-update:

; Note the lack of a section heading!
name = Bilbo
age = 111

Adding a section header

Sometimes we want to split our configuration into several different types, but still keep our whole configuration in one single file. To accomplish this, we can associate a section which each configurable type.

Note that the updateConfigFile function does not clobber the config file, but rather updates it with the contents of the configuration object being written.

config.ini:

[User]
name = Bilbo
age = 110

example3.hs:

{-# LANGUAGE DeriveGeneric, OverloadedStrings #-}
import Data.Tini (readIniFile)
import Data.Tini.Configurable

data User = User
  { name :: String
  , age :: Int
  } deriving Generic

data NetworkConfig = NetworkConfig
  { hostname :: String
  , bandwidthLimit :: Maybe Int -- KB/s
  } deriving Generic

instance Configurable User where
  defaultConfig = User
    { name = "Default User"
    , age = 0
    }
  sectionName = "User"

instance Configurable NetworkConfig where
  defaultConfig = NetworkConfig
    { hostname = ""
    , bandwidthLimit = Nothing
    }
  sectionName = "Network"

main = do
  Just ini <- readIniFile "config.ini"
  let user = fromIni ini
      network = fromIni ini
  putStrLn ("Hello " ++ name user ++ ", you just got one year older!")
  updateConfigFile "config.ini" (user { age = age user + 1 })
  putStrLn ("You also just got bandwidth limited!")
  updateConfigFile "config.ini" (network { bandwidthLimit = Just 100 })

config.ini, post-update:

[User]
name = Bilbo
age = 111

[Network]
hostname =
bandwidthLimit = 100

Note that instead of using readIniFile, we could have used readConfigFile twice: once to read the user configuration, and once to read the network configuration. In each call, values irrelevant to the type of configuration being read are ignored.

Excluding fields

It may be that we have some values in our configuration that we want to be easily configurable when recompiling our program, but which we don't want the end user of the program to be able to modify. One example might be the location of the configuration file itself.

We can accomplish this by adding the field representing the location of the configuration file to the ExcludedFields associated type. As ExcludedFields is a type-level list, we can check at compile-time that all fields listed therein are actually fields of our configuration type. Adding any other field to that list results in a type error.

config.ini:

userName = Bilbo
userAge = 110

example4.hs:

{-# LANGUAGE DeriveGeneric, DataKinds, TypeFamilies #-}
import Data.Tini.Configurable

data Config = Config
  { userName :: String
  , userAge :: Int
  , configLocation :: FilePath
  } deriving Generic

instance Configurable Config where
  defaultConfig = Config
    { userName = "Default User"
    , userAge = 0
    , configLocation = ""
    }
  type ExcludedFields Config = '["configLocation"]

myConfig = Config
  { userName = "My Default User"
  , userAge = 0
  , configLocation = "config.ini"
  }

main = do
  conf <- readConfigFileWith myConfig (configLocation myConfig)
  putStrLn ("Hello " ++ userName conf ++ ", you just got one year older!")
  updateConfigFile "config.ini" (conf { userAge = userAge conf + 1 })

config.ini, post-update:

name = Bilbo
age = 111


*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the tini README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.