Convention Over Configuration: A Way Forward?

Thiago Macieira thiago at
Sun Jan 8 15:28:53 PST 2012

On Sunday, 8 de January de 2012 17.49.12, Trans wrote:
> I mean that they don't use the environment variables.

I really don't think the environment variables are an issue.

As Kevin said:
> > Hmm. I haven't done any application with just low level APIs but reading
> > an
> > environment variable and a string comparison seems indeed rather trivial
> > to
> > me. Though I can only speak for languages I've used so far, e.g.C/C++,
> > Java,
> > Python. Might be more complicated elsewhere.

Getting the value of an environment variable and applying a default if it's 
not set is the least of the issues. They *already* have to do that for $HOME 
if they want to save their configuration files in the home directory, with 
fallback to values read from the password database.

For that reason, I don't think you're addressing the source of the problem. 
It's more likely that they don't know that the option exists in the first 
place, that they are lazy to change their code, or they simply don't want to 
change from old Unix convention. Neither of those problems will be solved by 
hardcoding the path to $HOME/.config.

Thiago Macieira - thiago (AT) - thiago (AT)
   Software Architect - Intel Open Source Technology Center
      PGP/GPG: 0x6EF45358; fingerprint:
      E067 918B B660 DBD1 105C  966C 33F5 F005 6EF4 5358
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