Literate Configuration
Literate Configuration
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Literate Configuration

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Completed on 2019-11-18

About the Book

This booklet will teach you about Literate Configuration, which is the application of Literate Programming to configuration files. Literate Programming can be especially applicable to configuration files for the following reasons:

  • Configuration files are inherently focused, since they correspond to a single application, program or set of programs, all related. This makes it easier to draw a narrative for them;
  • Most configuration files are self-contained but their structure and syntax may not be immediately evident, so they benefit from a human-readable explanation of their contents;
  • Configuration files are often shared and read by others, as we all like to learn by reading the config files of other people. Applying Literate Programming to config files makes them much easier to share, since their explanation is naturally woven into the code;

Org-mode is a powerful and simple markup language for general writing, but with unique features that make it easy to include code within the text, and even further, to easily extract that code into stand-alone source files which can be interpreted by their corresponding programs.

Whether you already use Emacs and org-mode or not, you will find value in this book by seeing how uniquely Literate Programming can help you better write, maintain, understand and share your config files.

About the Author

Diego Zamboni
Diego Zamboni

I am a computer scientist, consultant, programmer, sysadmin, author and overall geek, with a passion for computer security and automation. I am from Mexico and live in Switzerland.

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Literate Configuration
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Table of Contents

  • 1 Introduction
    • Literate Programming
    • Org-mode
  • 2 The Tools and Process
    • Emacs and Org-mode
    • How it works
    • Configuring Emacs and org-mode for literate programming
    • Structure of a literate config file
  • 3 Tips and tricks
    • Converting your existing config files
    • Using noweb references to structure your code
    • Multiple config files per org file
  • 4 Literate config examples
    • Emacs config
    • Hammerspoon config
    • Elvish config

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