[Registry] Re: LinuxRegistry in Freedesktop & KDE

Lars Hallberg lah at micropp.se
Wed Apr 21 14:28:55 EEST 2004

Daniel M. Lambea wrote:

>  Do we have such a thing like "InstallShield" for Linux? No, we don't,
Is not "InstallShield" just ab ugly hackaround for missing package 
manager? Linux is, and have been for a long time, way ahaed in this feald.

What *is* a litle problem is third party software. The linux wourld is 
used to not have much 3d party stuf, and if ther is, we used to package 
it ourself or deal with akward installs.

We shuld realy need some 3d party package standard that is simple. 
Basicly the app-dir concept, whith some good stuff from freedesktop, 
like desktop files. An some distro agnostik statment of dependencis. 
Ther is a more or less standard what library is named an hove they are 
versioned. We just need a way to state it in a standard way (along with 
some ABI info, that will *hopefully* stabalise).

Then each distro can figure out if it can install, what need to be 
installd with it, and howe to install it (possably by converting it to a 
native pakage alla debians alien).

The install shuld only be about copying, Ther shuld not be any script 
needed for a simple install! If the media comes whith some of it's 
dependencies that might not be in an distribution, it should only need 
to state that (and where), so the distro suplied installer can deal with it!

The standard only need to specify hove one specify some standard stuff 
(binary, libary, config, doc, desktop, and posably some comon plugin 
(mozilla-*, and possably more). So can the installer do all dirty work 
without bugging the user!

>    - eeeemmmhhhh... well... open a shell, then try apt... or get the RPMs
>by hand... try to upgrade them... well... don't forget to become
>root... emmm... and then...
Yeh, ther shuld be better GUI to all cool software. And it shuld deal 
with asking the user for root pw when needed, or even better, att 
install sett upp the acounts that shuld have 'administrator' rights, and 
automaticly grab them as needed thru sudo or somthing!

But that have zero to do with howe different config is stored!

>  They hear:
>    - blahblahahhblah... blahblaaaahhblahh...
>  They think:
>    - Right. I had to reinstall windows after some months. But I was able
>to try the software. I was able to upgrade. I was able to control my
>own computer.
Whell... It's *not* easier with windows... but they are probably more 
used to it. And if You are one friend, they probobly have 10 friends 
used to windows :-( We have to be evan better :-)

>>I also used to manage a server through webmin and never looked at the
>>config file.  Note that webmin does not use LR and still manages to do
>  And that's the reason why it needs so many modules to deal with the
>nightmare. How easy it would be for Webmin to deal just with keys, and
>their comments.
Actualy, those modules main need is to add the semantics of the keys. To 
make sens auto of the data!

But a standard way to read and change all configuration is a cool idé. 
Sorry, i forgot who sugested it... but the herarcial keys prefixed whith 
the domain name (gnome.org/foo/bar, kde.org/foo/bar etc) was good.

The key shuld prefarable esaly mach a path in /etc... that means moving 
config. But they can for a while be symlinked to ther old location.

This keys and prefarable a API to go with it is not mainly for the apps 
themself (as they alreddy know ther implementation) but for config 
tools, system validation (say, send out som AI ruleset thet check the 
instalation for known security holes, and sugest (or take) action.

One standard API, one key name standard, prefarable typed, preferable 
whith the option to get / set comments for each key. Probably a standard 
(XML?) format for getting/setting whole hierarchys of keys. But lot's of 

Over time, the different konfig formats might develop implementations 
for the apps themself that is compatible with the same API. That way it 
will be easy to switch format in an app, it might just be a compiletime 
switch (would not make sens to make the config format itself a runtime 
configuration, would it?).

LR might be usefull as one of many format. If You have reiserfs, and use 
allot of keys, and read few random of them at a time... then it might be 
werry good.


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