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Old 8th March 2005, 16:22   #332
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Originally posted by zootm
What's wrong with the registry? It's as organised as .ini files are... The only real problem is cross-platform compatibility.

I used to be convinced by the "single point of failure" angle, but then I realised that ~/.* is basically the same as the single-user registry. I believe GNOME has its own registry-like construct now?
Ever tried editing the registry of a non-bootable Windows install? How many helpful comments have you seen in the registry? Backup of /etc/ (cp -r /etc/ /mybackup/) is a hell of a whole lot easier than backing up the registry (and a hell of a whole lot more complete in terms of machine-wide configuration).

It's also easier to tar /etc/apache/ and email it than to find the relevant registry entr(ies) and then export them. On top of all that, registry entries are often not the only place an application stores data - it's far more common to have a pointer in the registry to a configuration file when there is any complexity at all in the configuration.

The only advantage to the registry is that it's easier to change on-the-fly (in memory), so applications can often be reconfigured immediately (no restart), though since you're rarely actually changing the registry through anything but a software-specific GUI anyway, it's more of a software design issue than anything to do with the registry.

Flat files are significantly closer to writing a script (and many of them actually are scripts) to configure something, so you get useful things like the ability to include other files, to comment out sections in a standard and easily understood way (try that in the registry), to note WHY a particular setting is a certain way, to do useful things like take a setting from a remote machine, automagically.

And I'm not making this up. From Microsoft's website regaurding the registry:
The registry can take up a large amount of space, and a very large registry can slow the overall system performance. So to save space, you should minimize the number of keys because a key consumes more space than a simpler entry. If you need to store a logically related group of data, you should figure out a way to describe them in as flat a structure as possible and use as many entries as possible.
For all these reasons, and to improve the overall efficiency, the Windows 2000 Application Specification reduces the circumstances in which you need to use the registry. The specification suggests that you use files instead of entries when the amount of data is larger than 2KB.
So even Microsoft pushes toward using flat-as-possible structures and files instead of registry entries (for over 2KB).

Originally posted by Phily Baby
There's no reason that the registry can't be distributed and simply backed up to a remote domain server or something. I like the registry as an idea, it's much more preferable to flat files imho. I do LOVE the idea of a SQL based OS though. Now with that you get power, simplicity and security. I so hope MS get it to work mmmmmmm.
There's no reason that /etc/ (and any other part of a linux machine - kernel excluded?) can't be distributed and simply backed up to a remote server or something. I like flat files as an idea, they're infinately more reliable. I do LOVE the idea of a flat-file based OS. With that, you get power, simplicity, security, and reliability. I so hope no one tries to replace it with needless complexity.

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