Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 17:06 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Taking a break from reporting on the latest netbook or phone rumours, Engadget posted an article yesterday about several elements in desktop operating systems writer Paul Miller finds outdated. While there's some interesting stuff in there, there's also a lot to discuss.
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darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

2. Lack of portability. Why the hell are developers still using the Windows registry? What purpose does that serve, exactly? Why not just have the config files in the program directory, so I can copy it to a USB stick and use it on whatever computer I happen to be working on?


As for the registry, I agree it has to go. Config files do nicely, just have a look at OS X to see a very well organized system of config files (Plists). Much cleaner than the registry. As for why they aren't in the program directory however, that one is easy to answer. Windows, just like most other desktop oses today, is multi-user. It therefore needs to put configuration files for each user separately, and the obvious place to do this is in the user's data folder. I think, perhaps, the best of both worlds could be achieved whereby the app looks in the user data folder first and, if nothing is found there, loads the same config files from its own directory instead. That'd mean you could easily copy the default configuration of your choice to the app and take it wherever you go, and yet it would still work properly in a multi-user environment. *NIX systems do something like this, except global config files are loaded from /etc when the user-specific conf files aren't found. Loading them from /etc is no good for USB portability, but the idea is essentially the same.

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