Saying a text file config, which is read once at application startup, is anything like the windows registry is like comparing apples to flying giant tortoises with a supreme disliking toward equally large, bipedal reptiles.
I heartily second this idea, I've been saying something like this for years. There is no reason it can't be done, same as there's no reason there can't be a standardized default file system. (and paths)
There have been a number of times using the best (or only) available tutorial required an extra step of correcting paths to files, for commands or simply to know where they are, eg for backups.
Fedora might have configs in /etc and a working directory in /var, whereas the same app in Mandriva has configs under /opt and the document root is in /usr... Try running a few dozen commands off a fedora tutorial on a Mandriva system...
It's worse with these config files. And it appears to be getting worse yet. KDE for example now breaks out parts of configs and has some under ~/.config, others under ~/.local and of course a slew of them under ~/.kde4/... in numerous sub-locations. Just finding things is a PITA, then what you have found may not contain the variable you are looking for.
The KDE team and Mandriva are working together to integrate Mandriva's most excellent Mandriva Control Center into the KDE systemsettings interface. (I'd prefer to see it go the other way around, so mcc could still be used with gnome or other DE)
Good move. Now if we can convince them to take a look at this idea, broader standardization of basic, common configs, we just might get to that "year of the Linux desktop" and mean it for once.
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