As far as I know, Config4* is by far the best configuration-file parser in the world. Competing technologies (such as XML, JSON, Java properties, the Windows Registry and so on) are mediocre and simplistic in comparison.
Config4* is pronounced “config for star”. The “*” in the name is a placeholder for a programming language, so Config4* is actually a family of configuration-file parsers. Initially, the Config4* family has just two members: Config4Cpp (for C++) and Config4J (for Java). Over time, the family may grow to support other languages.
The first few chapters of the Config4* Getting Started Guide provide a good overview of Config4*’s capabilities. In particular:
- Chapter 2 provides an overview of the Config4* syntax.
- Chapter 3 provides an overview of the Config4* application programming interface (API) and schema validation.
- Chapter 4 compares Config4* with competing configuration technologies, such as Java properties files, XML and the Windows registry.
Alternatively, you can find an overview of Config4* in a slide presentation, which is available in the following formats.
- Slides: OpenOffice.org format (52 KB); PDF format (192 KB)
- Handout pages for A4 paper: 2 slides per page (184 KB PDF file); 4 slides per page (180 KB PDF file); 8 slides per page (176 KB PDF file)
- Handout pages for US Letter paper: 2 slides per page (184 KB PDF file); 4 slides per page (180 KB PDF file); 6 slides per page (180 KB PDF file)
After you have read an overview of Config4*’s capabilities, you might want to have a look at the Config4* Practical Usage Guide (HTML, PDF), which provides examples of how Config4* can benefit a diverse range of applications.
Implementations of Config4* are provided in source-code format.
|Config4Cpp (C++ version)||compressed tar (96 KB)||zip (220 KB)|
|Config4J (Java version)||compressed tar (104 KB)||zip (256 KB)|
A comprehensive set of high-quality manuals are available for Config4*. Each manual is available in three formats: on-line HTML for convenient browsing; a PDF file formatted for A5 paper (slightly larger than paperback novel size) for off-line viewing on your computer screen; and a 2-up version of the PDF file, suitable for printing.
- All PDF manuals: compressed tar (2.9 MB) zip (2.9 MB)
- Config4* Getting Started
Guide. This provides an overview of Config4* for both
users and developers.
HTML PDF (672 KB) 2-up PDF (476 KB)
- Config4* Practical Usage
Guide. This provides practical advice and suggestions for
developers on how to use Config4* in a wide variety of
HTML PDF (608 KB) 2-up PDF (460 KB)
- Config4* C++ API Guide. This
provides a tutorial and reference for C++ programmers.
HTML PDF (300 KB) 2-up PDF (228 KB)
- Config4* Java API Guide.
This provides a tutorial and reference for Java++
HTML PDF (288 KB) 2-up PDF (216 KB)
- Config4* Maintenance Guide.
This provides useful background information for people who want to
maintain the source code of Config4* implementations or implement
Config4* in another programming language.
HTML PDF (412 KB) 2-up PDF (312 KB)
- LaTeX source of manuals: compressed tar (368 KB) zip (416 KB)