Re: Windows XP question (newbie)

From: Dumas Patrice (
Date: Fri Oct 25 2002 - 15:49:29 CEST


> Right. Only DBMS mechanism can solve. My dream is a Linux Configuration
> Registry over SQL.
> In this way we can configure our Linux box via web using phpmysqladmin!!

I don't think it is the really right way. In my opinion there should be
an independance with regard with storage. That is you could have a
DBMS behind, or text files, or xml, or ldap, or anything you want, depending
on your site requirements. But the access to that information would be
the same in every program/script/anything accessing it. Something like
PAM, but for configuration (an api for programms/scripts/... retrieving and
setting configuration information and an api for stroring and retrieving
information on a given media).

That was exactly the aim of the TUCS project.

> I explored it a little. It mantains an own internal DB?

I don't think so. If I am not wrong it is a set of crafted perl scripts
which access /etc.

> > I agree with you, anyway, the linux apps should use a standardized format
> > for configuration. It cannot be used for anything, however, sometimes
> > you have stuff which doesn't fit one scheme easily (I think about
> > cfengine, for example).
> >
> > All this is a consequence of decentralized development in a non normalized
> > world...
> Perfect. Your last sentence should be my signature. Unfortunately, I cannot
> speak such fluid like you!
> It is possible to add a Registry-Protocol-Specification without
> to break the "decentralized development"?

It is, but it isn't easy. All the developpers has to agree with a common access
scheme and a comon interface with storage layer. It is almost impossible
in the unix world, given the inheritance left by old unixes.
> I think yes: in the decentralized devolpment we use common protocols already:
> like X, of PPP or SMTP or POP3.
> Why to non have a protocol to store registry info??

There are many others norms, like UNIX 98, some posix... But these
norms/protocols come from proprietary world. The set of norms coming from
the free software world I know are here
with the biggest which seems to be
These are right steps, in my opinion, but there will only be acceptance
of existing practices. Thus the issue here is to get every projects
to use an uniform configuration scheme. After that it can be normalized...
It is a chicken and egg problem !

> But I also see what will happens: an "rm -r /etc" in every Linux distro!
> The /etc directory is only a rudimental database based on text file.
> Configuration programs have to mantain it aligned with the registry: an
> hard (and illogical) task.
> This break the romanticism about UNIX fs structure, but this is.

I don't think a database based on files is less usable than a DBMS or
a registry in memory, like for windows. With file locking, journalising,
a common format and common access methods text files may be nice configuration

> I we still like to go in /etc and change /etc/hosts by hand, we
> cannot pretend a registry in Linux!
> What you think?

I think that /etc is allready almost a registry, except that it isn't

> Michele
> P.S.
> Are we discovering that MS-Windows is better that Linux?
> My heart is open. I'm not fanatic. I think registry is
> better then /etc. But I can change idea if someone has better arguments.

I don't think registry is better as it is, but still the idea of a common
format and a common access method is a good idea.

Anyway I think that gnome and kde are adopting such a normalized configuration
scheme, based on the one used in microsoft. But I might be wrong.


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