I'm sure everyone has a .gitconfig with some handy aliases like:

  alias.ff=git pull --ff-only
  alias.rb=git pull --rebase

If you open up your .gitconfig it'll look something like:

    ; too lazy to type these all in full
    root = !pwd
    ff   = pull --ff-only
    rb   = pull --rebase
    stat = status

It looks like an ini file, really.

The cool thing about .ini is that everyone has their own freak-show extensions to the simple ini format, which is really not much more complex than what's above, but has been extended in different directions with each implementation.

git-config obviously has its own rules about what's allowable, and how things are stored.

You're not allowed underscores:

me@compy386:~ $ git config -f ./example --add foo.bar_baz 1
error: invalid key: foo.bar_baz

me@compy386:~ $ git config -f ./example --add 1
error: invalid key:

So, unless your language lets you have - in method names, or you like snakeCase you're going to have to mangle the names after reading your config.

Your settings need to be in a section

me@compy386:~ $ git config -f example --add bar 1
error: key does not contain a section: bar

Doing this makes the config file much easier to deal with, and leaves you without the quagmire of nonsense dealing with "keys with no section go into the _ section"

Sections can have sub-sections

If you want to have configs for multiple named things of the same type:

me@compy386:~ $ git config -f ./example --add 1

me@compy386:~ $ cat ./example 
[foo "thething"]
    bar-baz = 1

me@compy386:~ $ git config -list -f ./example

Yep, you can have 2 levels of keys, and you end up with [first "second"] in your config. Neat!

This is used for branches and remotes among other things:

[branch "master"]
    remote = origin
    merge = refs/heads/master

sections can have the same name as sub-sections

me@compy386:~ $ git config -f example --add 1

me@compy386:~ $ cat example 
    bar = 1
[foo "bar"]
    baz = 1

me@compy386:~ $ git config -l -f example

If you're parsing this directly into a data structure you can end up with some fairly upsetting situations, like becoming a hashmap when you don't expect it.

git-config - you might as well use it.

If you're building a tool that depends on git for a large portion of its job, you might as well use git-config too. It's a format that your users are likely already familiar with, and fits neatly into the ecosystem.