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Re: linux registry (no, not that again!)

On Wed, 2004-07-28 at 17:02, Matthew Miller wrote:
> [further discussion here should be moved off of the fedora-devel list --
> this is basically just noise to the poor fedora developers. So I've set 
> reply-to to me.]
> On Wed, Jul 28, 2004 at 04:52:17PM +0100, Jonathan Andrews wrote:
> > 1) Everything more than "Hello world" needs to store some configuration,
> > so doesn't that make it a requirement of most applications hence a lot
> > of processes within the application.
> That's not necessarily true.
> > 2) By putting a simple quick and understandable system in the kernel its
> > more likely to be adopted.
> Heh. Go propose this on the linux-kernel mailing list and see how quickly it
> gets anywhere, let alone adopted. This is a totally user-space task, and
> would just add bloat to the kernel (and attendant additional security
> concerns).
> > 3) Present in the kernel = No dependency on external libs, making it
> > more likely to be adopted.
> Well, the point aside above, that's not necessarily true either. You could
> put it in libc. (But still shouldn't.)
> > 4) Kernel = common API - if people would only need another API if the
> > configuration need was more complex than the base line, and  mostly it
> > is not.
> There's quite a lot more to the common Unix API than kernel syscalls
> already.
> > 5) Why not show some leadership instead of just cloning Unix/Posix - "As
> > little as possible" need not be that same as "Not enough to be complete"
> This isn't leadership -- it'd be a step backward. The kernel should stick to
> the minimal set of core functionality needed for a *kernel*. In fact,
> there's talk of moving things like the IDE drivers into user space. Putting
> a config file finding and parsing routine into the kernel would be, frankly,
> horrid.

Minimal for who ??   Configuration state is just as much a need for
processes as RAM or files. Even the flash based set to box will get
turned on and off !  

I have seen variants on the same 200 lines of code for 10 years, even
windows had an API for ".ini" files from windows 3.11, yet Unix/Linux
still has no common configuration standard....  Now we have some people
pushing for XML and other horrors - if the O/S had tackled the problem
head on then the differences between distributions would be less and the
portability of configuration would be greater. Unix people seem to agree
small files, plain text - yet they have no common API ?? Doesn't this
just contribute to the mess !

Anyone who has maintained windows doesn't want a registry, or any large
database, but an API to grep from files and to replace text would solve
most problems for flat file configuration.

Ok, I bow to one who knows more than me - so its a user space problem, I
still think a common (thats to all distributions) API for configuration
should exist, where do you think it should live - Is it not a core
requirement for applications ? If so it should be a common component of
all Linux ? Maybe it should be in libc ? It would make grep simpler to
write :-)


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