Re: TODO #1: GNOME 1.x and 2.0 interoperability

Havoc Pennington wrote:

> Dietmar Maurer <dietmar ximian com> writes:
> > Havoc Pennington wrote:
> >
> > > Dietmar Maurer <dietmar ximian com> writes:
> > > > > The one where all settings are in one big file?
> > > >
> > > > No, take a look at: bonobo-conf/monikers/bonobo-config-dirdb.[ch]
> > > >
> > >
> > > Sorry, silly me - I'm looking at "bonobo-config" not "bonobo-conf"
> > >
> > > Well, that's great that you've gratuitously reimplemented something
> > > exactly the same as the GConf XML backend, with minor changes some
> > > better some worse.
> >
> > Minor changes? And what is worse?
> >
> <irrelevant>
> Minor changes - you have a bunch of XML files representing config
> values stored at filename-like keys. The files even have % in the name
> like the GConf backend. You redid the XML format and moved from a dir
> hierarchy to a flat directory. Woo.

It is simply a complete rewrite, with a much cleaner design. Anyway, only
syntactic sugar for you.

> Worse - well, 'grep errno' and 'grep strerror' come up empty, for one
> thing.

Not a big disadvantage at all.

> Better - the code is nicely simpler, I think mostly because you didn't
> use a directory hierarchy.

It is simpler because we do code sharing (bonobo, CORBA).

> I'm not sure how the tradeoffs work out
> here.
> </irrelevant>
> But this is beside the point.
> The point is this: you can't justify totally reimplementing GConf and
> creating all kinds of problems if your reimplementation is just the
> same, modulo small details.  I could go on all day about small tweaks
> we could make to bonobo-config, or that we could make to GConf itself.
> If you were just worried about flat dir vs. hierarchy, or the file
> format, you could easily have a GConf backend that worked your way.
> If you had some radically different system, or a different license
> (btw bonobo-conf doesn't have a license in COPYING or the source
> files), or were desktop-independent, or some other compelling
> difference, then OK, but your system is just like GConf with minor
> changes. It's like claiming you have the "Recycle Bin" instead of the
> "Trash" - ooh it's so different.  I designed GConf from scratch, you
> copied the idea and changed the names of all the functions and then
> with the benefit of hindsight put snide little comments about GConf in
> various places in the code.
> The difference between GConf and bonobo-config are just whether we use
> the Bonobo type system and conventions or the GLib ones. This is
> syntactic sugar. It is not a justification for creating two config
> database systems or having two in GNOME.

Yes, we try to solve the same things. GConf was your idea, and I have
learned many things from GConf. Initially I tried to improve GConf, but
it's a fact that you ignored all my input, always with the same argument:
"that is only syntactic sugar".

That was the reason why we have started a complete rewrite, and we now
have a much simpler system, which is able to replace GConf completely.
Please let us use the system which includes all that syntactic sugar, and
I would like to extract any remaining useful feature from GConf and add it
to bonobo-config.

- Dietmar

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