Provided by: elektra-doc_0.8.14-5_all bug


       elektra-related - related configuration systems

       Settings  and preferences are ubiquitous in every software. For this reason, a vast amount
       of software has emerged on this topic. Most of the other projects, however, do not  devote
       their work exclusively to configuration.

Configuration Libraries

       We  have  already mentioned that Elektra provides the features of a configuration library.
       There are countless libraries out there that parse and some  even  generate  configuration
       files.  But  there  is  a  big  catch:  These libraries do not provide an abstract view of
       configuration. They require programmers to open  the  files  themselves  or  at  least  to
       remember  the  path  to  them.  Such  information  is  itself configuration and inherently
       operating system dependent. Therefore, it is not possible to give default values that just

       Another  feature  mostly  missing  in these libraries is cascading. It is not difficult to
       implement, but disturbing if it is not available at all or does not work correctly.


       Augeas is not intended for applications themselves, so it  only  creates  a  new  view  to
       configuration   files   which  is  not  necessarily  the  same  as  applications  see  it.
       Additionally, Augeas has a rather poor level of abstraction and many  syntactical  details
       must   be   reflected  in  the  configuration  tree.  Nevertheless,  Elektra  provides  an
       /src/plugins/augeas/ augeas%20plugin which allows parts of Elektra┬┤s global  configuration
       tree  to  be  implemented  using  lenses.  Lenses  are a promising technology, which allow
       mapping from and to configuration files to be specified with a single program.


       A project that shares some of the goals with Elektra, but uses  a  different  approach  is
       Uniconf. Besides a stand-alone library it supports a daemon mode. With the daemon running,
       it has the disadvantage of protocol overhead and a single point of failure. On  the  other
       hand, Uniconf can also notify applications when configuration files change and can work in
       a distributed mode. The project does not  solve  the  problem  of  how  to  configure  the
       configuration  system.  So  we still have to pass a so-called moniker string that contains
       the knowledge where to find the configuration. The plugin system is flexible, but does not
       depend  on  the  key  name.  So  it is not possible to use different plugins for different
       applications and still have a global key database.


       Debconf is a set of Debian-tools that separates user interaction  from  the  configuration
       process  for  the  system┬┤s configuration when packages are installed or upgraded. Debconf
       itself does not change the  configuration  files.  Instead,  the  administrator  is  asked
       questions  depending  on template files using different front ends. These answers are then
       cached. The configuration changes themselves are applied by post-install  scripts  of  the
       particular  package.  Exactly  for this last step Elektra could yield much better results,
       because it can compare configuration on a per-key basis and thus  handle  conflicts  in  a
       much more fine-grained way.

       The  initiative  unifies  different desktops using the X Window System in
       various ways. The main focus, however, lies in KDE and Gnome integration. One of the  most
       disturbing  and  still  unresolved problems is configuration. Elektra intends to fill this
       gap in the future.

       Already available is the so-called XDG  Base  Directory  Specification.  Perhaps  it  will
       define  file  formats in the future, but currently only the paths are specified. To do so,
       it introduces some environment variables that help to find the actual configuration.  Only
       if  they  are  unset or empty, a built-in fallback should be used. If desired, elektrified
       applications behave in a XDG conforming way. (See the configuration  x  for  the  resolver

                                          November 2015                         ELEKTRA-RELATED()