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Dconf in GNOME 3.0 : one step further to Windows registry ?

Today, while reading LWN.net Weekly Edition for April 9 concerning GNOME 3.0, I noticed the part about dconf. Dconf aims to replace … gconf already. Yeah, we can’t keep a simple technology as simple as reading and writing application configurations settings more than 8 years … Whereas I was not agree with the fact that gconf was somewhat like the Windows registry, at least it was using plain text files which could be delete or read from CLI with standard tools. However with dconf things are about to change. I don’t know if this GNOME dconf is the same than the dconf project on fd.o for which Aaron Seigo had some harsh words in 2005, but really this GNOME dconf seems just wrong. Really I do prefer gconf finally !

The big problem for me comes from this sentence from the dconf project page : Having all of the keys in a single compact binary format also avoids the intense fragmentation problems currently experienced by the tree-of-directories-of-xml-files approach. Hell yes, you read correctly : dconf will be using a single binary file … We just reinvent Windows registry. If really dconf is going to hold all the settings in one binary file, we are going to have a single point of failure. Do people remember the Ext4 data loss saga ? Now image this with the famous single binary file containing all your applications settings … You see the point ? you may end up with a zero file or corrupted configuration database. This corruption will not just impact the key being modified ( as in gconf ) or the application’s configuration file ( as in KDE ), but _all_ the applications which are storing information in dconf … Really, I don’t why they want to do this …gconf is too slow ? Why about doing the KDE way by grouping several keys in one text/xml file ? On top of that having a binary file means that users/sysadmins will no longer be able to browse or edit the keys from CLI … Really I don’t understand …

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