Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 18:39 UTC, submitted by michuk
Gnome "To put things short, Gconf is a system built in GNOME 2 which stores applications' preferable configuration data as well as graphical environment variables in its own files. I'd like you to get familiar with the Gconf tool's functions, engineering, and usage with this article."
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RE: Registry
by d3vi1 on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 20:36 UTC in reply to "Registry"
d3vi1
Member since:
2006-01-28

It's not really a registry. It's a settings backend. The real beauty of GConf is the fact that everything is stored in human-readable and editable XML files.

Another interesting thing that I've noticed is that if you change a setting in GConf, the application is notified and reacts accordingly. That means that if you simply edit the color field for a button in nautilus, it instantly changes color (assuming nautilus would have something like that).

GConf is also conceived in a way that is pretty user friendly, thus browsing through it is not a complete mess like browsing through the Windows Registry.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Registry
by shapeshifter on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 22:32 in reply to "RE: Registry"
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

GConf is also conceived in a way that is pretty user friendly, thus browsing through it is not a complete mess like browsing through the Windows Registry.


Could've fooled me.
It felt just like editing the Windows registry.
Even the structure resembles the registry.
Simillar sections with simillar names. And noone knows (well, except the authors) what they do, what values they accept, and what will happen when changed.

I haven't tried it recently but a few years back when I was still willing to give Gnome a chance, I managed to corrupt the Gnome configuration every time beyond repair (had to reset Gnome by deleting it's conf directories) within hours of starting to use it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Registry
by _mikk on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 22:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Registry"
_mikk Member since:
2005-10-19

I Hear you. Same happened more than once.
And I'm afraid, Gnome XML configuration files aren't very human readable, as there is very little (none really) documentation describing what is what and where it is. And so fixing problems without wiping out an entire Gnome profile is fairly difficult.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Registry
by AdamW on Mon 2nd Jul 2007 22:55 in reply to "RE[2]: Registry"
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

I've never done that. Not once. Ever.

The 'drawbacks' you cite have nothing to do with the structure of gconf and equally well apply to many .whatever configuration files. These very often don't tell you what each setting does, what values it accepts, or what will happen when changed either. Why do you act as if these problems are unique to apps that use gconf?

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Registry
by abraxas on Tue 3rd Jul 2007 05:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Registry"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Could've fooled me.
It felt just like editing the Windows registry.
Even the structure resembles the registry.


Uhh no. Gconf-editor looks a bit like regedit but that's about it. Also gconf-editor has a much more sane layout and built in documentation.

Simillar sections with simillar names. And noone knows (well, except the authors) what they do, what values they accept, and what will happen when changed.

If you can read you can make sense of GConf without having to look up KB articles.

I managed to corrupt the Gnome configuration every time beyond repair (had to reset Gnome by deleting it's conf directories) within hours of starting to use it.

If you did that on Windows the computer wouldn't even boot. You would be forced to manually roll back the registry, which is much more of a pain in the ass than having to restore application settings.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Registry
by kelvin on Tue 3rd Jul 2007 07:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Registry"
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

And noone knows (well, except the authors) what they do, what values they accept, and what will happen when changed.


Au contraire; everyone knows what the GConf keys do since every single GConf key is documented. The documentation is visible in the GConf-editor UI, and it's localized for non-english speakers. If a key should be undocumented, it's a bug. As for what values are accepted, that is defined both by constraints as well as being documented in GConf.

I managed to corrupt the Gnome configuration every time beyond repair [...] within hours of starting to use it.


The same is true of any configuration system. If you want to break it, you can.

Edited 2007-07-03 07:19

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Registry
by Pfeifer on Tue 3rd Jul 2007 07:52 in reply to "RE[2]: Registry"
Pfeifer Member since:
2006-02-20


Could've fooled me.
It felt just like editing the Windows registry.
Even the structure resembles the registry.
Simillar sections with simillar names. And noone knows (well, except the authors) what they do, what values they accept, and what will happen when changed.

I haven't tried it recently but a few years back when I was still willing to give Gnome a chance, I managed to corrupt the Gnome configuration every time beyond repair (had to reset Gnome by deleting it's conf directories) within hours of starting to use it.




You, Sir, have made some very funny experiences. While I agree with you on the structure of GConf resembling the structure of the Windows Registry being both hierarchical and thus simliar, I fail to see the similiarities in the naming.

Registry: HK_Local_MachineSystemControlSet001Enum1394MaxtorOneTouch

GConf: /desktop/gnome/peripherals/mouse/

Also I have to say that I never had any case of GConf corruption. If a problem arises with a CGonf setting, the worst that will happen is that GConf just reads the default value from the supplemented Schema files. The worst case scenario involves deleting of the corresponding xml file.

And while some of the GConf configuration option may be named somewhat improperly, the values they accept is always defined by the Schema.

This is, by the way, not a problem of GConf. GConf provides very convenient ways to documet each single configuration option.

And on another note; Not knowing what a configuration option is used for and not knowing what kind of values it will accept is more a problem i associate with plain text configuration files.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Registry
by segedunum on Tue 3rd Jul 2007 09:25 in reply to "RE: Registry"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The real beauty of GConf is the fact that everything is stored in human-readable and editable XML files.

I always laugh at people who describe XML files like that. XML is by no stretch human readable.

Reply Parent Score: 3