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Can anyone verify that there are performance reasons to exclude the "generic" comments from either httpd.conf or php.ini? Personally I find the admonitions and associated clutter to be more distracting than anything else, but I can't imagine that it creates a much of a performance issue since I don't think they are read except at start-up. I'd like to standardizing on just including real configuration comments and scrapping the cruft and can't think of any reason why it shouldn't be fine.

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There's no performance loss with lots of comments. I agree that the generic cruft is useless, and I tend to strip it out. I follow the same philosophy with config files as I do for code -- I explain things that need to be explained ("HERE BE DRAGONS"), but otherwise if you need to know what something does, there is a whole manual full of useful information on the purpose of LogLevel. The standard crufty comments continue to exist due to people who are too lazy to read the manual, and those people are going to make a mess sooner or later, so why not make it sooner so I can identify them and take away their root privs before they do any real damage?

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Comments are not loaded into memory so you don't have to worry about it.

I assume you are using Linux. Files like apache2.conf or php.ini are maintainted by the package manager. These files will surely change on next upgrade and things will get messy.

I personnaly do not touch the configuration files directly. I use instead the included folders like "conf.d" or "sites-enabled" to create custom configuration files and edit/overwrite current settings.

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