Common configuration namespace

Waldo Bastian bastian at
Sun Apr 18 00:42:36 EEST 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Sat April 17 2004 21:18, Claes Holmerson wrote:
> I read a little about GConf, and it seems to works with hierarchical keys
> too. "/apps/metacity/general/titlebar_font" is given as example. I don't
> know how it works in KDE.

We basically have a fixed 3 level hierarchy:

With all files in $KDEDIR/share/config or $KDEHOME/share/config

The 3 level hierarchy is sufficient in 90% [1] of the cases but there is 9% 
where you want a 4th level, typically because you have a list of objects with 
properties that you want to store, and 1% where you have a more complex 
structure [2] that you want to be mapped to the configuration key space.

The way we currently handle >= 4th level is to flatten it to 3-level. For 
example, it's straightforward to replace <group> with <group1>/<group2>. 
That's not terribly elegant though and an area that could use some 

> Provide API in each individual config framework to let applications refer
> to their config data with keys in this format. Encourage developers to use
> these keys rather than any other way to fetch their config data. (Don't
> work with files directly, etc). Put things that are agreed upon and can be
> shared in the "common" namespace.
> Then, over time, hopefully each config framework can be ported to a common
> access mechanism, without affecting applications too much. Perhaps there
> will never be a single storage format, but different to choose from,
> depending on the situation. It can be implemented in everything from a
> single XML file, to GConf, Linux Registry or LDAP.

For standards I think it is useful to have a single 
standardized storage format for those settings that are to be shared by 
desktop environments. For that I don't really care whether applications use a 
different format for their own settings. From a settings management 
perspective it would of course be nice if there was a limited number of 
different formats.


[1] Yes, I make these numbers up myself :-)
[2] khotkeys
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