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How to save initial configuration? (program installation)

I've written a program. To install this program, I'm going to need to
initialize some stuff for the users environment, specifically the name/
location of an internal state file.

Currently, I'm hard coding the location of this file, but that's in-
elegant. What I'd like to do is just ask the user, with a suggested
default.

My question is how do I save this answer? It's kind of a chicken-and-
egg problem.

The only solution I've thought of is to write something that's self
modifying, but that's ugly (go in, grep for this variable
initialization, re-write that line with the new value, quit). Is
there a better way to do this? There almost has to be...

If not, are there some 'best practices' on how to do the self-
modification?

Thanks for any help;
Jason

Jun 25 '07 #1
6 1290
On Jun 25, 10:02 am, Jason Zapman II <zapman...@gmail.comwrote:
I've written a program. To install this program, I'm going to need to
initialize some stuff for the users environment, specifically the name/
location of an internal state file.

Currently, I'm hard coding the location of this file, but that's in-
elegant. What I'd like to do is just ask the user, with a suggested
default.

My question is how do I save this answer? It's kind of a chicken-and-
egg problem.

The only solution I've thought of is to write something that's self
modifying, but that's ugly (go in, grep for this variable
initialization, re-write that line with the new value, quit). Is
there a better way to do this? There almost has to be...

If not, are there some 'best practices' on how to do the self-
modification?

Thanks for any help;
Jason
I would think you could pop-up some dialog when the program is first
run to ask where they want the file to be. On the first run though,
you can just have the config file located in the current working
directory with the script file itself. Then just move it or save a new
copy to the new location and delete the original.

Mike

Jun 25 '07 #2
On Jun 25, 11:10 am, kyoso...@gmail.com wrote:
I would think you could pop-up some dialog when the program is first
run to ask where they want the file to be. On the first run though,
you can just have the config file located in the current working
directory with the script file itself. Then just move it or save a new
copy to the new location and delete the original.
The 'pop-up' is easy. The problem is how does the program know where
it's state file is the SECOND time it is run? I can't stash it in the
state file, since the program won't know where it is if it's not in
the CWD... (unless I'm missing something obvious).
Jun 25 '07 #3
ky******@gmail.com wrote:
On Jun 25, 10:02 am, Jason Zapman II <zapman...@gmail.comwrote:
>I've written a program. To install this program, I'm going to need to
initialize some stuff for the users environment, specifically the name/
location of an internal state file.

Currently, I'm hard coding the location of this file, but that's in-
elegant. What I'd like to do is just ask the user, with a suggested
default.

My question is how do I save this answer? It's kind of a chicken-and-
egg problem.

The only solution I've thought of is to write something that's self
modifying, but that's ugly (go in, grep for this variable
initialization, re-write that line with the new value, quit). Is
there a better way to do this? There almost has to be...

If not, are there some 'best practices' on how to do the self-
modification?

Thanks for any help;
Jason

I would think you could pop-up some dialog when the program is first
run to ask where they want the file to be. On the first run though,
you can just have the config file located in the current working
directory with the script file itself. Then just move it or save a new
copy to the new location and delete the original.

Mike
Or, better still, leave it in place to act as the defaults for the next
user who wants to start using this package?

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +1 571 484 6266 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC/Ltd http://www.holdenweb.com
Skype: holdenweb http://del.icio.us/steve.holden
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Jun 25 '07 #4
Jason Zapman II wrote:
On Jun 25, 11:10 am, kyoso...@gmail.com wrote:
>I would think you could pop-up some dialog when the program is first
run to ask where they want the file to be. On the first run though,
you can just have the config file located in the current working
directory with the script file itself. Then just move it or save a new
copy to the new location and delete the original.

The 'pop-up' is easy. The problem is how does the program know where
it's state file is the SECOND time it is run? I can't stash it in the
state file, since the program won't know where it is if it's not in
the CWD... (unless I'm missing something obvious).

The traditional choices are the registry for Windows, and the /etc
subtree for the various, almost uncountable, flavors of Unix and
nixalikes. You're right, it's much more difficult per-system than
per-user, since there are so many conventions.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +1 571 484 6266 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC/Ltd http://www.holdenweb.com
Skype: holdenweb http://del.icio.us/steve.holden
--------------- Asciimercial ------------------
Get on the web: Blog, lens and tag the Internet
Many services currently offer free registration
----------- Thank You for Reading -------------

Jun 25 '07 #5
On Jun 25, 11:37 am, Steve Holden <s...@holdenweb.comwrote:
The traditional choices are the registry for Windows, and the /etc
subtree for the various, almost uncountable, flavors of Unix and
nixalikes. You're right, it's much more difficult per-system than
per-user, since there are so many conventions.
I forgot to mention that this is for Unix environments, so the
registry isn't an option, unfortunately (never thought I'd say
that... ;-) ).

Is there anything in the distutils.* stuff that would be useful? This
isn't going to be a python package (it's a standalone program).

--Jason

Jun 25 '07 #6
On Jun 25, 10:58 am, Jason Zapman II <zapman...@gmail.comwrote:
On Jun 25, 11:37 am, Steve Holden <s...@holdenweb.comwrote:
The traditional choices are the registry for Windows, and the /etc
subtree for the various, almost uncountable, flavors of Unix and
nixalikes. You're right, it's much more difficult per-system than
per-user, since there are so many conventions.

I forgot to mention that this is for Unix environments, so the
registry isn't an option, unfortunately (never thought I'd say
that... ;-) ).

Is there anything in the distutils.* stuff that would be useful? This
isn't going to be a python package (it's a standalone program).

--Jason
Well, I don't know what your user file does, but couldn't you create
a .ini type file to hold the user's choice for the other file's
location and save the ini to the current working directory?

Something like this:

<ini file>
usersChosenPath = /usr/Path/to/Config
</ini file>

Kind of redundant, but I would think it would still work.

Mike

Jun 25 '07 #7

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