config library idea


I had this idea a while ago and it recently came back up on debian-devel.

Much of libgnome, but gnome-config in particular, has reasonably wide
application outside of Gnome. It is a potential solution to the eternally
annoying (to me anyway) Yet Another File Format problem. This makes
LinuxConf, for example, a major pain: parsers have to be written for all
these formats. Formats are also rarely designed with machine-management
(generation and modification) in mind. It's a big drag on GUI development -
who wants to write something cool like a Gtk style editor if they have to
figure out how to machine-modify a gtkrc first? Yuck.

Now there's no way to get rid of legacy formats, but we could make it easier
to avoid this problem with new applications by separating the gnome-config
facilities from the rest of gnome and making them available to application
writers. As a side benefit, we might expect people to hack on gnome-config
and add some of the missing features like LDAP or whatever people want.
Basically get wider exposure for the config library by breaking it out of
the difficult Gnome compile, thus leading to more hacking on it and more
config file standardization in the free Unix clone world.

Two other ideas: fold gnome-config into glib instead of making it its own
mini-library, and/or work with WindowMaker's libPropList and add some of 
the features from there (e.g. it looks like it handles tree-shaped data a 
lot better).

Havoc Pennington ======== =======

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