[vbox-dev] Wish for the future: XML

Klaus Espenlaub Klaus.Espenlaub at Sun.COM
Tue Oct 13 11:00:40 GMT 2009

Jonas Mellin wrote:
> I would appreciate output in XML format from VBoxManage command since I
> am on a university and want to automate installation for my students to
> reduce their problems. It is, of course, perfectly possible to parse the
> output, BUT it would be simpled in XML. For a starter, the information
> commands could be added with an XML option. In the second step, it would
> be useful to enable packaging of error messages in XML as well.

Sorry, but I don't get the novelty of idea apparently - what you 
describe as "automate installation" sounds like a reinvention of the OVF 
export/import feature (which is an XML based file format btw.). Which is 
already supported by VBoxManage.

And for the other bits - VBoxManage is meant for simple configuration 
and management tasks. As an intermediate level between VBoxManage and 
fully custom code which uses the VirtualBox API you can use 
vboxshell.py. If you want to achieve something more complex and/or want 
to have better control over what's going on, there's the VirtualBox SDK. 
You can call the (XP)COM API from several languages (C/C++/python), and 
the webservice (WSDL) API from pretty much any noteworthy language.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against improvements, I'm just having a bit 
of difficulty to get the full understanding of your ideas out of the 6 
lines outline. Note that VirtualBox is open source, so you could 
prototype/contribute your idea.


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