configuration system notes

Dave Cridland dave at
Thu Apr 7 18:42:19 EEST 2005

On Thu Apr  7 15:18:23 2005, Havoc Pennington wrote:
>  - ACAP is a standard nobody uses, and is pretty different from    
> the ideal design, so I see no reason it's interesting.

I find this last very funny. You must realise that GConf has nearly 
all the basic features of ACAP, indeed it's simply a cut-down ACAP in 
order to simplify it and reduce its scope, and add strong typing and 
schemas - that's not a bad thing, you didn't want GConf to cover the 
same scope as ACAP can, and you didn't need the power that increases 
its complexity.

Now, I'm absolutely not suggesting that ACAP be "the" configuration 
system[*] - for the vast majority of desktop applications - it'd be a 
terrible idea to have a TCP/IP protocol in use for local 
configuration - but to dismiss it out of hand as "pretty different 
from the ideal" strikes me as rather foolish, especially when its 
demonstrably so close to GConf in so many ways.

ACAP is absolutely worth looking at as a source of inspiration for a 
new configuration system, especially as it's the only example you 
gave which aimed to share configuration data between wildly different 
applications, and aimed to make it easy to manage.

I'll admit I don't except most people to have looked at ACAP, I'm one 
of very few people using it. But I think it'd be a real shame to 
ignore prior art like this.


* - Thus making me almost the only person present to have both 
written a configuration system and not suggested that it should 
immediately be adopted as a full standard for everyone.

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