XML is way too hard for the rocket scientists at EMC

Navicli is the command line tool to configure/query a Clariion SAN. Apparently you need some special license to use it, which is weird but I guess a command line tool is unusual for an appliance that's built on a point-click OS such as the Windows 3.11 underlying this storage system.

I won't go into too many details as to how this C.L.I. sucks; let's just instead pick one obvious way it does.
It conveniently provides an -xml switch. Sweet! you might mistakenly think, I shall be able to reliably parse query results! Alas, no.

In the previous version (6.29.something), it didn't even output well-formed XML. It is evidently way too hard for  a multi-billion dollar company to publish code that respects decade old standards. And after all, you've just spend $200k on that piece of hardware, you wouldn't want code that works, too?

Well they appear to have fixed that (or maybe I just got lucky and didn't trigger the bug recently), and the XML now passes basic checks. But it's still unusable. To wit, here's an excerpt of the output of the getdisk subcommand, which is supposed to list all the disks with all their parameters:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
      <METHODRESPONSE NAME="ExecuteClientRequest">
          <VALUE>Bus 0 Enclosure 0  Disk 0
<PARAMVALUE NAME="Vendor Id" TYPE="string">
              <VALUE>SEAGATE </VALUE>
            <PARAMVALUE NAME="Product Id" TYPE="string">
              <VALUE>STT30065 CLAR300</VALUE>

At first it looks like a straightforward list of key/value pairs, with added (mostly useless) loose type information. But notice the "Bus 0..." information. Now look at the next instance of it:

            <PARAMVALUE NAME="Prct Busy" TYPE="uint64">

Bus 0 Enclosure 0  Disk 2
<PARAMVALUE NAME="Vendor Id" TYPE="string">
              <VALUE>SEAGATE </VALUE>

That's right, it's a stray printf in the middle of XML output. It's completely unparsable. On top of that, everything is indeed linear, the hierarchy of data is not preserved. For instance, they could have grouped all  Bus 0 items under one element, and then Enclosure 0, and so on; instead it's all listed at the same level. 

Edit: and I forgot to add, the RPM for version asks a question in the %postinst section, which appears to break installation through yum. Is there anything those MS-DOS types can't get wrong?

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