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Re: SEUL: seul-db (bad idea... at least as stated)

lso8219@cs.rit.edu (Loren S Osborn) wrote:
> seul-db:
> I think seul-db as it stands is somewhat of a bad idea.
> [...]
> I'm not saying that SEUL shouldn't have preferance options stored in a database
> somewhere.  I'm saying that options that are actually used in a shell-script
> or standard config file somewhere else on the system should be re-read each
> time vs. replacing the config files with stuff from the database.

ok.  if i am reading that right, then i agree with you completely.

i would like to keep the actual config files and allow access to modify them
by the user, for precisely the reasons you mentioned, compatibility being
the general gist of things.

think of this in the light of the "extensions" model i started off by
mentioning.  i want to avoid completely killing a standard distribution to
make way for seul, and in fact would like to make seul compatible enough to
install all/parts of on top of any existing distribution and not make the
old stuff obsolete.  i think this is possible, though indeed the seuldb
scheme is going to be the toughest part to fit into that idea, and you have
picked it out correctly as such.

as i said:
>[the user will] be naturally tempted to or accustomed to or need to modify config
>files by hand.  i have some ideas on how to get this to Do the Right Thing,
>but that is something to go into later, in much more detail.

so, shall i take this as a prompt for more details?

i don't want to go off on it right now, since i am too tired to believe i'll
get anything coherent out on that topic. :)
however, let me know if we are in agreement on the above, or if i misread
what you meant... and i will definitely be going into more detail about
how config files can get handled by seuldb soon - rest assured though
that they are special and will not just be.. assimilated..

>Also (side-note) since we are dealing with a multi-tasking system, we should
>specify what will happen if the config options are changed by the user while
>our "control panel" is running (i.e. the "control panel" detects the changed
>files -- while it's running-- and updates it's display accordingly)

right - concurrency among apps will have to be dealt with in designing this
stuff.  there will probably have to be support for broadcasting a database
update message to applications, and then we'll still need to figure out
how to keep updates deterministic enough for us.  (i don't think a protocol
of "if you receive the update signal... do something or other..." is quite
enough to hold seul in sync.)

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