Re: Windows XP question (newbie)

From: Manuel Garcia Rodriguez (
Date: Fri Oct 25 2002 - 20:26:51 CEST

> ...
> There are a lot of legacy or even active
> applications still in use, with
> peculiar configuration scheme and which aren't
> likely to change (sendmail,
> nsswitch, glibc databases (hosts, service....),
> procmail, fetchmail...).
> I must miss a lot of other utilities which would
> require rewriting config
> files and a lot of code, and I am quite sure that
> the developers won't agree.
> ...

If this programs are well designed, changing file
format would'nt have to be a problem.
I think that one the the greater problems of Linux is
not to want to leave some bad customs of UNIX, such as
that 'random' standard file tree XD.

> ...
> I think that databases are overkill for
> configuration in most cases, as
> in most cases we don't need ACID properties, nor the
> fast access as
> configuration informations are often read only once.
> Only concurrency is
> needed in the base case. When the information is
> accessed a lot (aliases
> database for sendmail, for example), fast read
> access is needed too.
> ...

Fast access is a problem of DBMS, not of client apps.
DB layer would manage cache systems for fast access.

> ...
> And real concurrency isn't most important thing, the
> problem is more with different applications changing
> bits without looking at what the other did
> nor what the user manually changed. But for that
> matter, I think that having an uniform format should
> be enough. If not, it is because the configuration
> utilities are broken (which isn't the case for
> mulinux, because the user is warned ;-).
> ...

DBMS checks and recovers corrupt information.

I think that first of all, all config files must have
a unique format (such as XML). Later, a management
system (API) over this files (such as a daemon) would
resolve centralization, concurrency and integrity
problems. But after all, this is what DBMS do. So
having 'virtual read/write XML config files' that apps
manipulate (directly or with additional tools,
parsers, 'API', etc), but the daemon controls over the
filesystem layer or DB layer, I suppose that is
something similar to /proc. So only formatting config
files would be necessary.
I don't know if this is posible.


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