XSETTINGS unfit as configuration mechanism?

Jasper Huijsmans j.b.huijsmans at hetnet.nl
Fri May 31 22:20:09 CEST 2002

On Fri, 31 May 2002 15:55:38 +0100
Thomas Leonard <tal00r at ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:

> On Fri, May 31, 2002 at 04:31:03PM +0200, Jasper Huijsmans wrote:
> > Hmm, I just thought of something. If we want to be able to change
> > appearance, we need to be xsettings manager anyway, since we have to
> > change gtk settings.
> > 
> > What a waste of such a nice long e-mail :-(
> > 
> > Right then, how about using the ROX-Session code (including the nice
> > option system) for our purposes?
> Well, I'd hate to argue with that, but... ;-)

Please argue :-), we need more arguments!

> > >However, this would also mean that we cannot change the global
> > >settings for the panel or wm or another xfprogram when the user is
> > >running a different environment. I'm not sure that this is a good
> > >thing.
> From the XSettings spec:
>  "It is not intended:
>  - for the storage of application-specific data
>  - to be able to store large amounts of data
>  - to store complex data types (other than as strings)"
> Basically, XSettings only works when you have a very small number of
> settings that everyone agrees on (like double-click time and default
> font). "XFCE clock background colour" would be a really bad XSetting,
> for example.

I'd have to agree with that.

> Plus, having per-application settings in a central location is just
> horrible, IMHO ;-)

Well, maybe it is, but having one central place to acess them is pretty
well accepted and something that is expected of a desktop environment. I
was thinking about saving the settings with the apllications, letting
the application set the initial value when they start and have a
separate program change them and inform the apps through some mechanism.

Also, the appearance of xfce is for a large part determined by gtk, so
we have to use xsettings if we want to do something with that (we do

And then there is this idea of using separate programs for everything.
However, we also want to give the impression of an integrated

Maybe we should first start with a list of settings? 

Ok, here's another idea: have a style manager app that just calls the
programs with a --configure argument. The apps can decide for themselves
if they want to start a new process or use an existing one.

The gtk settings issue is a bit separate in this case. We really need to
use xsettings for that.

Am I too early with this discussion ? I though it might be good to think
about this early in the development process.


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