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[Gcl-devel] Re: [Axiom-developer] RE: GCL on Windows

From: michel . lavaud
Subject: [Gcl-devel] Re: [Axiom-developer] RE: GCL on Windows
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 15:59:25 +0100

Hello William,

On 15 Dec 2004 at 3:39, William Sit wrote:

> Hi Bill:
> >   c:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents
> >
> > (overridable by the user)
> Simply asking this location at install time is not good, as was
> already pointed out that this default may not be known to a naive
> Windows user,  may not be desirable by other users, and in network
> environment, may be mapped to various drive letters.
> Two possible solutions may work across all Windows platforms. The
> first is to use an axiom.ini file in the c:\windows directory to store
> all user information (one section per user on the machine) that
> includes any Linux environmental variable, user directories, etc, and
> a global section to store function call translations (like cat to
> type). This file is easily editable by a user, or be protected in W2k
> or XP.  The second is to put the info in the Registry.

I think that the ini file is the best solution in all cases, writing infos in 
the registry
is one of the main causes of Windows "blue screens". Writing a few
environment variables in the registry ought be the maximum, if possible,
because env vars are accessible by a well defined interface of Windows (Start /
Parameters / Config / System / Env vars) that cannot spoil the registry
database, while others are accessible only through regedit or similar programs,
that can completely break your installation - up to preventing from booting the

In my opinion, the registry idea is a good one for the various components of the
OS and for purely Microsoft software, because  they control the whole building
process of the database, have all docs about the significance of all the keys,
and thus can build it cleanly and coherently.

But for non MS software, I think that in practice it is a rather bad idea for 
user because many keys are undocumented and there is no secure way to
avoid any problem (as the standard Windows interface for the subset of env
variables). An error in a key of an ini file of a given software breaks only the
software. An error in a key of the registry can break the whole system.

> The axiom.ini file can reside anywhere, in particular in the installed
> axiom directory.

axiom.ini in the installed directory is nice for the default values, but bad 
(in my
opinion) if it is supposed to store modifications to the configuration made by 
user, as the directory can be read only for some users on WinNTx and, more
importantly, for all users and all versions of Windows, if one wants axiom to be
runnable directly from a plug n play cd-rom (like Rosetta cd for Windows).
Under Windows NTx, axiom.ini could be in a subdir of $USERPROFILE,

Best wishes,

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