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HOCON and Config
A little tidbit for the programmers: just came across the Typesafe Config Library, a very nice little open-source project that provides a general-purpose JVM configuration stack. (Entirely Java-based, so that you don't need Scala in order to use it.) Given that every startup I have ever worked at has wound up wasting time building a better config system (since most of the traditional options suck), this is a fine benefit -- the Typesafe stack appears to provide all of the major features that I always have to reimplement (like layering).

Particularly interesting is the HOCON ("Human-Optimized Config Object Notation") config language. It's a very useful looking dialect of JSON -- it basically starts with JSON, but relaxes many of the syntactic rules so that it winds up much easier to write and maintain by hand. It's still a reasonably rich data-representation language (indeed, more powerful than JSON itself), but by simplifying the annoying requirements like comma placement, it gets rid of most of the usual gotchas.

Pretty, simple and useful -- I'd bet that this language will quickly escape its parent project...


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