An analysis about a generic desktop application configuration management system

Thomas Leonard tal at
Tue Apr 12 20:23:31 EEST 2005

On Tue, Apr 12, 2005 at 12:39:08PM +0100, Dave Cridland wrote:
> On Tue Apr 12 11:40:59 2005, Waldo Bastian wrote:
> >XSettings doesn't touch on storage, it would solve the problem of 
> >applications sharing common settings, it wouldn't solve the problem 
> >of managing those settings. I would limit the use of XSettings to 
> >visual appearance.
> Does XSettings have to be anything more than a compatibility 
> interface through to the shared configuration system?
> In which case, do we simply take the existing XSettings keys, assign 
> them to "new style" configuration keys, and then anyone can write an 
> implementation which provides an XSettings interface through to the 
> D-BUS (presumably) interface.
> Then, going forwards, KDE/GNOME/Rox/etc get to use the new API to 
> change them, get notifications, etc, completely ignoring XSettings 
> itself if they so choose.

This is exactly how it works already in ROX. Eg:

$ dbus-send --type=method_call --dest=net.sf.rox.Session \
        /Settings net.sf.rox.Session.Settings.SetString \
        string:Gtk/FontName 'string:Sans 10'

Will change the default GTK font to 'Sans 10', save it, and notify
existing apps via XSettings. Programs can read the new value from
XSettings (eg, GTK) or with a D-Bus GetSetting call (eg, the LookAndFeel

We don't do notifications via D-BUS yet, but that's easy to add.

Dr Thomas Leonard
GPG: 9242 9807 C985 3C07 44A6  8B9A AE07 8280 59A5 3CC1

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