# PODNAME: Config::Model::Manual::ModelCreationIntroduction
# ABSTRACT: Introduction to model creation with Config::Model

__END__

=pod

=encoding UTF-8

=head1 NAME

Config::Model::Manual::ModelCreationIntroduction - Introduction to model creation with Config::Model

=head1 VERSION

version 2.142

=head1 Introduction

This page describes how to write a simple configuration
model. Creation of more complex models are described in 
L<Creating a model with advanced features|Config::Model::Manual::ModelCreationAdvanced>.

Note that this document shows a lot of Perl data structure to
highlight the content of a model. A Perl data structure is very
similar to a JSON structure. The only thing you need to know are:

=over

=item *

Curly braces C<{ ... }> contain a dictionary of key, value pairs (a
C<hash> in Perl land))

=item *

Square brackets C<[ ... ]> contain a list of items (C<array> or
C<list> in Perl land)

=back

=head1 Some definitions

=over

=item configuration file

Text file where configuration data are stored. This configuration file
is used by an application -- the I<target application>

=item configuration tree

The semantic content of the configuration file stored in a tree
representation

=item configuration model

Structure and constraints of the configuration tree. Like a schema for
the configuration tree

=item target application

The application that uses the configuration file. The application
can be of type C<system> (i.e. the configuration file is located in
C</etc>), C<user> (i.e. the configuration file is located in a user
directory like C<~/.config>) or C<application> (the configuration file
is in or below the current directory)

=item end user

User of the target application

=item application developer

Target application developer

=item model developer

People developing the configuration model. Not necessarily the
application developer

=back

=head1 What is a configuration tree?

Most configuration files are actually organized mostly as a tree
structure. Depending on the syntax of the file, this structure may be
obvious to see (e.g. for XML, Apache) or not so obvious (C<Xorg> syntax,
INI syntax).

For some files like C<approx.conf> or C<adduser.conf>, this tree
structure is quite flat.  It looks much like a rake than a tree, but
still, it's a tree.

For instance, this C<approx.conf>:

 $pdiffs     1
 $max_wait   14
 debian     http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian

can have this tree representation:

 root
 |--pdiff=1
 |--max_wait=14
 `--distrib(debian)=http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian

Other configuration files like C<apache2.conf> or C<xorg.conf> have a
structure that look more like a tree.

For instance, consider this C<xorg.conf> snippet:

 Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
 EndSection
 
 Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Option         "AllowGLXWithComposite" "True"
    Option         "DynamicTwinView" "True"
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
 EndSection

Knowing that Xorg.conf can have several Device or Screen sections
identified by their C<Identifiers>, the configuration can be
represented in this tree as:

 root
 |--Device(Device0)
 |  `--Driver=nvidia
 `--Screen(Screen0)
    |--Device=Device0
    |--Option
    |  |--AllowGLXWithComposite=True
    |  `--DynamicTwinView=True
    `--Display
       `--Depth=24

One may argue that some C<Xorg> parameter refer to others
(i.e.C<Device> and C<Monitor> value in C<Screen> section) and so they
cannot be represented as a tree. That's right, there are some more
complex relations that are added to the tree structure. This will be
covered in more details when dealing with complex models.

In some other case, the structure of a tree is not fixed. For
instance, C<Device> options in C<Xorg.conf> are different depending on
the value of the C<Device Driver>. In this case, the structure of the
configuration tree must be adapted (morphed) depending on a parameter
value.

Just like XML data can have Schema to validate their content, the
configuration tree structure needs to have its own schema to validate
its content. Since the tree structure cannot be represented as a
static tree without reference, XML like schema are not enough to
validate configuration data.

L<Config::Model> provides a kind of schema for configuration data that
takes care of the cross references mentioned above and of the dynamic
nature of the configuration tree required for C<Xorg> (and others).

=head1 What is a model?

A configuration model defines the configuration tree structure:

=over

=item *

A model defines one or more configuration class

=item *

At least one class is required to define the configuration tree root

=item *

Each class contains several elements. An element can be:

=over

=item * 

A leaf to represent one configuration parameter

=item * 

A list of hash of leaves to represent several parameter

=item * 

A node to hold a node of a configuration tree

=item * 

A list or hash of nodes 

=back

=back

These basic relations enable to define the main parts of a
configuration tree.

If we refer to the C<approx.conf> example mentioned above, one only
class is required (let's say the C<Approx> class). This class must
contain (see approx.conf man page): 

=over

=item *

A boolean leaf for C<pdiff> (1 if not specified) 

=item *

An integer leaf for C<max_wait> (10 seconds unless specified
otherwise)

=item *

A hash of string leaves for C<distrib> (no default).

=back

A configuration model is stored this way by Config::Model:

 {
  name => 'Approx',
  element => [
      pdiffs => {
          type => 'leaf',
          value_type => 'boolean',
          upstream_default => '1'
      },
      max_wait => {
          type => 'leaf',
          value_type => 'integer',
          upstream_default => '10'
      },
      distributions'=> {
          type => 'hash',
          index_type => 'string' ,
          cargo => {
              value_type => 'uniline',
              type => 'leaf',
          },
      }
   ]
 }

The C<Xorg> example leads to a slightly more complex model with several classes:

=over

=item * 

C<Xorg> (root class)

=item * 

C<Xorg::Device>

=item * 

C<Xorg::Screen>

=item * 

C<Xorg::Screen::Option> for the Screen options

=item * 

C<Xorg::Screen::Display> for theC<Display> subsection

=back

The root class is declared this way:

 {
  name => 'Xorg',
  element => [
              Device => {
                         type => 'hash',
                         index_type => 'string'
                         cargo => {
                                    type => 'node',
                                    config_class_name => 'Xorg::Device'
                                  },
                        },
              Screen => {
                         type => 'hash',
                         index_type => 'string'
                         cargo => {
                                   type => 'node',
                                   config_class_name => 'Xorg::Screen'
                                  },
                        },
           ]
 }

TheC<Xorg::Screen> class is:

 {
  name => 'Xorg::Screen',
  element => [
               Device => {
                           type' => 'leaf',
                           value_type => 'uniline',
                         },
               Display => {
                            type => 'hash',
                            index_type => 'integer'
                            cargo => {
                                       type => 'node',
                                       config_class_name => 'Xorg::Screen::Display'
                                     },
                          }
              Option => {
                          type => 'node',
                          config_class_name => 'Xorg::Screen::Option'
                        },
              ]
  }

It's now time to detail how the elements of a class are constructed.

=head1 Model analysis

To define the required configuration classes, you should
read the documentation of the target application to :

=over

=item *

Find the structure of the configuration tree 

=item *

Identify configuration parameters, their constraints and relations

=back

Last but not least, you should also find several valid examples of
your application configuration. These examples can be used as
non-regression tests and to verify that the application documentation
was understood.

=head1 Model declaration

=head2 Configuration class declaration

Since writing the data structure shown below is not fun (even with
Perl), you are encouraged to use the model editor provided by L<cme>
using C<cme meta edit> command (provided by L<Config::Model::Itself>).
This commands provides a GUI to create or update your model.

When saving, C<cme> writes the data structure in the correct directory.

=head2 Configuration class declaration (the hard way)

In summary, configuration documentation is translated in a format
usable by Config::Model:

=over

=item *

The structure is translated into configuration classes

=item *

Configuration parameters are translated into elements

=item *

Constraints are translated into element attributes

=back

All models files must be written in a specific directory. For
instance, for model C<Xorg>, you must create
C<./lib/Config/Model/models/Xorg.pl>. Other classes
like C<Xorg::Screen> can be stored in their own file
C<./lib/Config/Model/models/Xorg/Screen.pl> or included in C<Xorg.pl>

A model file is a Perl file containing an array for hash ref. Each
Hash ref contains a class declaration:

 [ { name => 'Xorg', ... } , { name => 'Xorg::Screen', ... } ] ;

A class can have the following parameters:

=over

=item *

name: mandatory name of the class

=item *

class_description: Description of the configuration class. 

=item *

generated_by: Mention with a descriptive string if this class was
generated by a program. This parameter is currently reserved
for C<Config::Model::Itself> model editor.

=item *

include: Include element description from another class.

=back

For more details, see L<Config::Model/Configuration_Model>.

For instance:

 $ cat lib/Config/Model/models/Xorg.pl
 [
   {
     name => 'Xorg',
     class_description => 'Top level Xorg configuration.',
     include => [ 'Xorg::ConfigDir'],
     element => [
                 Files => {
                           type => 'node',
                           description => 'File pathnames',
                           config_class_name => 'Xorg::Files'
                          },
                 # snip
                ]
   },
   {
     name => 'Xorg::DRI',
     element => [
                 Mode => {
                          type => 'leaf',
                          value_type => 'uniline',
                          description => 'DRI mode, usually set to 0666'
                         }
                ]
   }
 ];

=head2 Common attributes for all elements

This first set of attributes helps the user by providing guidance
(with C<level> and C<status>) and documentation
(C<summary> and C<description>).

All elements (simple or complex) can have the following attributes:

=over

=item *

C<description>: full length description of the attribute

=item *

C<summary>: one line summary of the above description

=item *

C<level>: is C<important>, C<normal> or C<hidden>. The level is used
to set how configuration data is presented to the user in browsing
mode. Important elements are shown to the user no matter
what. hidden elements are explained with the warp notion.

=item *

C<status>: is C<obsolete>, C<deprecated> or C<standard>
(default). Warnings are shown when using a deprecated element and an exception
is raised when an obsolete element is used.

=back

See L<Config::Model/Configuration_class> for details.

=head2 Leaf elements

Leaf element is the most common type to represent configuration data.
A leaf element represents a specific configuration parameter.

In more details, a leaf element have the following attributes (See 
L<Config::Model::Value/Value_model_declaration> doc):

=over

=item type

Set to C<leaf> (mandatory)

=item value_type

Either C<boolean>, C<integer>, C<number>, C<enum>, C<string>,
C<uniline> (i.e. a string without "\n") (mandatory)

=item min

Minimum value (for C<integer> or C<number>)

=item max

Maximum value (for C<integer> or C<number>)

=item choice

Possible values for an enum

=item mandatory

Whether the value is mandatory or not

=item default

Default value that must be written in the configuration file

=item upstream_default

Default value that is known by the target application and thus does
not need to be written in the configuration file.

=back

To know which attributes to use, you should read the
documentation of the target application.

For instance, C<AddressFamily> parameter (sshd_config(5)) is specified
with: I<Specifies which address family should be used by sshd(8).
Valid arguments are "any", "inet" (use IPv4 only), or "inet6" (use
IPv6 only).  The default is "any".>

For Config::Model, C<AddressFamily> is a type C<leaf> element,
value_type C<enum> and the application falls back to C<any> if this
parameter is left blank in C<sshd_config> file.

Thus the model of this element is :

 AddressFamily => {
   type             => 'leaf',
   value_type       => 'enum',
   upstream_default => 'any',
   description      => 'Specifies which address family should be used by sshd(8).',
   choice           => [ 'any', 'inet', 'inet6' ]
 }

=head2 Simple list or hash element

Some configuration parameters are in fact a list or a hash of
parameters. For instance, C<approx.conf> can feature a list of remote
repositories:

 # remote repositories
 debian     http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian
 multimedia http://www.debian-multimedia.org

These repositorie URLs must be stored as a hash where the key is
I<debian> or I<multimedia> and the associated value is a URL. But
this hash must have something which is not explicit in C<approx.conf>
file: a parameter name. Approx man page mentions that:
I<The name/value pairs [not beginning with '$' are used to map distribution names to remote repositories.>.
So let's use C<distribution> as a parameter name.

The example is stored this way in the configuration tree:

 root
 |--distribution(debian)=http://ftp.fr.debian.org/debian
 `--distribution(multimedia)=http://www.debian-multimedia.org

The model needs to declare that C<distribution> is:

=over

=item *

a type C<hash> parameter

=item *

the hash key is a string

=item *

the values of the hash are of type C<leaf> and value_type C<uniline>

=back

 distribution => {
                   type => 'hash',
                   index_type => 'string',
                   cargo => {
                              type => 'leaf',
                              value_type => 'uniline',
                            },
                   summary => 'remote repositories',
                   description => 'The other name/value pairs are ...',
                 }

For more details on list and hash elements, see
L<hash or list model declaration|Config::Model::AnyId/Hash_or_list_model_declaration> man page.

=head2 node element

A node element is necessary if the configuration file has more than a
list of variable. In this case, the tree is deeper than a rake and a
node element if necessary to provide a new node within the tree.

In the Xorg example above, the options of C<Xorg::Screen> need their
own sub-branch in the tree:

 Screen(Screen0)
   `--Option
      |--AllowGLXWithComposite=True
      `--DynamicTwinView=True

For this, a new dedicated class is necessary>Xorg::Screen::Option>
(see its declaration above). This new class must be tied to the Screen
class with a node element.

A node element has the following parameters:

=over

=item *

type (set to C<node>)

=item *

the name of the configuration class name (>config_class_name>)

=back

So the C<Option> node element is declared with:

 Option => {
             type => 'node',
             config_class_name => 'Xorg::Screen::Option'
           },

=head2 Hash or list of nodes

Some configuration files can feature a set of rather complex
configuration entities. For instance C<Xorg.pl> can feature several
Screen or Device definitions. These definitions are identified by the
C<Identifier> parameter:

 Section "Device"
   Identifier     "Device0"
   Driver         "nvidia"
   BusID          "PCI:3:0:1"
 EndSection
 
 Section "Screen"
   Identifier     "Screen0"
   Device         "Device0"
   DefaultDepth    24
 EndSection

The Xorg configuration tree features 2 elements (Screen and
Device) that use the Identifier parameters as hash keys:

 root
 |--Device(Device0)
 |  |--Driver=nvidia
 |  `--BusId=PCI:3:0:1
 `--Screen(Screen0)
    |--Device=Device0
    `--DefaultDepth=24

And the Xorg model must define these 2 parameters as C<hash>. The
cargo of this hash is of type C<node> and refers to 2 different
configuration classes, one for C<Device> (C<Xorg::Device>) and one for
C<Screen> (C<Xorg::Screen>):

 {
 name => 'Xorg',
 element => [
             Device => {
                        type => 'hash',
                        index_type => 'string'
                        cargo => {
                                   type => 'node',
                                   config_class_name => 'Xorg::Device'
                                 },
                       },
             Screen => {
                        type => 'hash',
                        index_type => 'string'
                        cargo => {
                                  type => 'node',
                                  config_class_name => 'Xorg::Screen'
                                 },
                       },
          ]
 }

=head1 Configuration wizard

Both Perl/Tk and Curses interfaces feature a configuration wizard
generated from a configuration model.

The wizard works by exploring the configuration tree and stopping on
each I<important> element and on each error (mostly missing mandatory
parameter).

When designing a model, you have to ponder for each element:

=over

=item *

The importance level of the parameter (important, normal or
hidden). C<level> is used to set how configuration data is presented
to the user in wizard and browsing mode. Important elements are
shown in the wizard. hidden elements are explained with the warp
notion in L<Creating a model with advanced features|Config::Model::Manual::ModelCreationAdvanced>.

=back

=head1 Reading configuration files

Once the model is specified, L<Config::Model> can generate a nice user
interface, but there's still no way to load or write the configuration
file.

For Config::Model to read the file, the model designer must declare in
the model how to read and write the file (the read/write backend).

The read/write functionality is provided by a class inheriting
C<Config::Model::Backend::Any> class like
C<Config::Model::Backend::IniFile>

The name of the backend parameter must match the backend class name
without C<Config::Model::Backend>. As syntactic sugar, lower case
backend name are transformed into upper case to match the backend
class name.

E.g.

 Yaml -> Config::Model::Backend::Yaml
 plain_file -> Config::Model::Backend::PlainFile
 ini_file -> Config::Model::Backend::IniFile

With the backend name, the following parameters must be defined:

=over

=item config_dir

The configuration directory

=item file

Config file name (optional). defaults to C<< <config_class_name>.[pl|ini|cds] >>

=back

   rw_config  => { backend    => 'ini_file' ,
                   config_dir => '/etc/cfg_dir',
                   file       => 'cfg_file.ini',
                 },

See L<Config::Model::Backend::IniFile> for details

Note that these parameters can also be set with the graphical
configuration model editor (C<cme meta edit>).

C<rw_config> can also have custom parameters that are passed
verbatim to C<Config::Model::Backend::Foo> methods:

  rw_config  => {
     backend    => 'my_backend',
     config_dir => '/etc/cfg_dir',
     my_param   => 'my_value',
  }

This C<Config::Model::Backend::MyBackend> class is expected to inherit
L<Config::Model::Backend::Any> and provide the following methods:

=over

=item new

=item read

=item write

=back

Their signatures are explained in 
L<Config::Model::BackendMgr doc on plugin backends|Config::Model::BackendMgr/Plugin_backend_classes>

=head1 SEE ALSO

=over

=item *

More complex models: L<Config::Model::Manual::ModelCreationAdvanced>

=item *

L<Config::Model::Manual::ModelForUpgrade>: Writing a model for configuration upgrades

=item *

L<Configuration upgrades within Debian packages|http://wiki.debian.org/PackageConfigUpgrade>

=back

=head1 Feedback welcome

Feel free to send comments and suggestion about this page at

 config-model-users at lists dot sourceforge dot net.

=head1 AUTHORS

Dominique Dumont <ddumont at cpan.org>

=head1 AUTHOR

Dominique Dumont

=head1 COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

This software is Copyright (c) 2005-2021 by Dominique Dumont.

This is free software, licensed under:

  The GNU Lesser General Public License, Version 2.1, February 1999

=cut