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Mike, thanks for the kind words. Your request is not new. The reason we haven't forged ahead is that things are pretty complicated as is and inheritance adds another level of complexity. As we move to Chef some of the pain can also be resolved in a different manner. In Chef a recipe is really a "run list", i.e. a list of things that need to be configured. This list often consists of primitives, like installing apache or creating a vhost config file from a template. But the list can also include other recipes. This means that you can easily have a "MyStandardConfigs" cookbook in which you have recipes that purely reference other recipes. So you could have a "public_server" recipe that runs the set of recipes that your publicly accessible servers needs to have (e.g. to lock them down). You would then include that in your ServerTemplates for public servers. If you squint just a little this is essentially a mix-in, which is probably what you wanted when you asked for inheritance. We've been thinking in providing some UI for such mix-in recipes so you don't have to deal with the source code control and meta-data just to add/change a line in a recipe.