configuration system notes

Havoc Pennington hp at
Thu Apr 7 19:10:11 EEST 2005

On Thu, 2005-04-07 at 11:50 -0400, Avery Pennarun wrote:
> While it is certainly true that UniConf punts many important decisions that
> are actually very important to how the configuration system should work, its
> configurability cannot possibly be considered a disadvantage.

Let me put it this way: I think you could write a version 1.0 system
that met the needs of Fedora, GNOME, and KDE _without_ pluggable
backends. Given an API you can always add pluggable backends later, and
realistically there's only one backend people will use for now (the text
files one).

The interesting future backend is a client-server one, maybe using a
directory server, but that's an enterprise feature that so far nobody
has even bothered to do for GNOME or KDE in the last few years because
every enterprise has some hack for dealing with text config files
anyway, since UNIX/Linux more or less requires you to have a hack like

So, if I were designing a system I would keep the API opaque so I could
add backends, but multiple backends would be the last thing I'd add, not
the first. Most other goals are more important.

Multiple backends aren't a disadvantage, but they are the wrong focus.


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