using Properties files properly

Discussion in 'Java' started by antoine, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. antoine

    antoine Guest

    Hello,

    I was not very happy with my INI file handling and finally decided to
    migrate to the more common "properties" file as defined in JDK (I'm
    using 1.4)

    here's the thing: I have a long list of properties, that I grouped like
    that:

    item1.prop1
    item1.prop2
    item1.prop3
    item1.prop4

    item2.prop1
    item2.prop2
    item2.prop3
    item2.prop4

    everything works OK, it loads, saves, and my app works. however there
    are times when I need to access the properties file and modify it
    manually (using a text editor). that's when I realized that all
    properties were "reorganized" pretty randomly in my file:

    item2.prop3
    item1.prop2
    item2.prop4
    item1.prop4
    item1.prop3
    item2.prop1
    item1.prop1
    item2.prop2

    it becomes very complicated to find what I'm looking for...
    is there a simple way to make things better ?
    antoine, Aug 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. antoine

    Roedy Green Guest

    On 22 Aug 2005 20:32:59 -0700, "antoine" <>
    wrote or quoted :

    >it becomes very complicated to find what I'm looking for...
    >is there a simple way to make things better ?


    The problem is Properties is a HashMap/Hashtable (I forget which).
    HashMaps don't have an order. They use the effective random ordering
    of hash to slot number, i.e. hashCode/length hasharray.

    What can you do about it?

    1. Write your own save method that does a sort then save.

    2. use the sort feature of your text editor when you set out to edit
    the file.

    3. write your own properties class that has the features you want. I
    wrote one that allows multiple values per key. You are welcome to it.
    Just send me an email with the subject MultiProperties.

    4. Use the Preferences class.

    --
    Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
    http://mindprod.com
    Roedy Green, Aug 23, 2005
    #2
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  3. On 22 Aug 2005 20:32:59 -0700, antoine wrote:

    > ..there
    > are times when I need to access the properties file and modify it
    > manually


    One alternative is to write a little Java based editor
    to load and save the properties. You could provide
    a sorted list of property names on the left, and a single
    text area on the right to edit the value of the property.

    Easy peasy..

    > ..(using a text editor)


    Ughh.. Write an editor. A couple of hours spent writing
    an editor now, might save you dozens of hours over the
    long run.

    HTH

    --
    Andrew Thompson
    physci.org 1point1c.org javasaver.com lensescapes.com athompson.info
    "..a government for hire and a combat site."
    R.E.M. 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)'
    Andrew Thompson, Aug 23, 2005
    #3
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