This is a native Ruby package for reading and writing INI files.
Although made popular by Windows, INI files can be used on any system thanks to their flexibility. They allow a program to store configuration data, which can then be easily parsed and changed. Two notable systems that use the INI format are Samba and Trac.
More information about INI files can be found on the Wikipedia Page.
The basic element contained in an INI file is the property. Every property has a name and a value, delimited by an equals sign =. The name appears to the left of the equals sign and the value to the right.
Section declarations start with [ and end with ] as in
[section2] shown in the example below. The section declaration marks the
beginning of a section. All properties after the section declaration will be
associated with that section.
All lines beginning with a semicolon ; or a number sign # are considered to be comments. Comment lines are ignored when parsing INI files.
Example File Format
A typical INI file might look like this:
[section1] ; some comment on section1 var1 = foo var2 = doodle var3 = multiline values \ are also possible [section2] # another comment var1 = baz var2 = shoodle
The format of INI files is not well defined. Several assumptions are made by the inifile gem when parsing INI files. Most of these assumptions can be modified at, but the defaults are listed below.
If the INI file lacks any section declarations, or if there are properties
decalared before the first section, then these properties will be placed into
a default "global" section. The name of this section can be configured when
Duplicate properties are allowed in a single section. The last property value
set is the one that will be stored in the
[section1] var1 = foo var2 = bar var1 = poodle
The resulting value of
var1 will be
If you have more than one section with the same name then the sections will be merged. Duplicate properties between the two sections will follow the rules discussed above. Properties in the latter section will override properties in the earlier section.
The comment character can be either a semicolon ; or a number sign #. The comment character can appear anywhere on a line including at the end of a name/value pair declaration. If you wish to use a comment character in your value then you will need to either escape the character or put the value in double quotations.
[section1] var1 = foo # a comment var2 = "foo # this is not a comment" var3 = foo \# this is not a comment either
Values can be continued onto multiple lines in two separate ways. Putting a slash at the end of a line will continue the value declaration to the next line. When parsing, the trailing slash will be consumed and will not appear in the resulting value. Comments can appear to the right of the trailing slash.
var1 = this is a \ # these comments will multiline value # be ignored by the parser
In the above example the resulting value for
var1 will be
this is a
multiline value. If you want to preserve newline characters in the value then
quotations should be used.
var2 = "this is a multiline value"
The resulting value for
var2 will be
this is a\nmultiline value.
Several escape characters are supported within the value for a property. These escape sequences will be applied to quoted and unquoted values alike. You can enable or disable escaping by setting the escape flag to true or false when creating an IniFile instance.
- \0 -- null character
- \n -- newline character
- \r -- carriage return character
- \t -- tab character
- \\ -- backslash character
The backslash escape sequence is only needed if you want one of the escape sequences to appear literally in your value. For example:
property = this is not a tab \\t character
gem install inifile
To run the tests:
Contributions are gladly welcome! For small modifications (fixing typos, improving documentation) you can use GitHub's in-browser editing capabilities to create a pull request. For larger modifications I would recommend forking the project, creating your patch, and then submitting a pull request.
Mr Bones is used to manage rake tasks and to install dependent files. To setup your environment ...
$ gem install bones $ rake gem:install_dependencies
And always remember that
rake -T will show you the list of available tasks.
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