Bookmarks shared among desktop environments

Philip Van Hoof spamfrommailing at
Mon Apr 18 20:38:32 EEST 2005

On Mon, 2005-04-18 at 18:19 +0100, Jamie McCracken wrote:
> Philip Van Hoof wrote:

> > Agreed bookmarks are very close to configuration data (preferences), in
> > fact they are application-data. That's because they are created because
> > of interaction with the user.
> > 
> > Preferences are more static: The user sets them, and then works with the
> > application that will play by the rules it can read from these settings.
> > 
> > So it's not a valid use-case to add bookmarks to the configuration data.
> I see little difference. Recent file lists, bookmarks - these are all 
> prefs or config options even if they are set automonously. It is 
> desirable to have one storage facility for all these so why not DConf?

If DConf needs to solve this, DConf will be even more complex to both
implement and to get it adopted. You will not only be asking to
application developers: "Hey, change your configuration system!" but
also "Hey, make sure that you from now on use this specific system for
putting that specific application data in!".

Are you prepared to redo most of the evolution-data-server project? Is a
Novell/Ximian developer working on Evolution going to do it? Will
Firefox/Mozilla and Konqueror/Safari and Galeon/Epiphany adopt this?

That's asking for quite a lot adoption.

You will need to talk to a huge amount of application developers. This
way it will take a lot longer to both implement it and to get it

In other words: DConf will be more likely only vaporware.

> What we need as Avery pointed out is a standard shareable key structure 
> to accomplish this.



> its trivial for db backends like sqlite. Specify an xml schema and you 

One thing I learned from my experience as a software developer (as a
profession) is that nothing is trivial (and telling your customer
something is trivial is like shooting yourself through the head rather
than just your foot).

You really want to take a look at the "sharing calendaring and contact
information" of evolution-data-server to know the needs for such a
system. Perhaps it's better to reuse that software project, perhaps not.

I don't think a simple sqlite table (file) and some standarization is
going to do the job.

> should be able to generate a table for it (ditto with xml databases). Im 
> willing to do all the extra work for this but recognise that its only 
> really applicable to relational databases (as opposed to KVP's like LDAP 
> and Bereley DB) so we need to be careful as strucured data access might 
> not be as network transparent if you relied upon LDAP (although you 
> could put the db on an NFS mount or use a client/server RDBMS if you 
> really did need this).

> Whilst you could restrict Dconf to key value pairs, the benefits of more 
> structured storage are more obvious to other things like the mime type 
> database, address books and all the other freedesktop storage mechanisms 
> (menues, session variables et al).

I don't think the configuration system needs "structured types". The
most advanced type is perhaps the LIST-type. Which is a list of simple

Imagine the complexity of the API to read complex types from this config

> I do believe strongly that we need a global config system and not the 
> current mess of dot files, xml files, session vars et al that are 
> currently used.


Philip Van Hoof, Software Developer @ Cronos
home: me at pvanhoof dot be
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org
work: philip dot vanhoof at cronos dot be
junk: philip dot vanhoof at gmail dot com

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