Configuration masquerading Data

Onno Benschop onno at
Wed Sep 17 23:54:48 UTC 2008

On 13/09/08 11:48, Martin Owens wrote:
> Technically configuration directories denoted by being hidden
> (suffexed with a '.') are there to hold collections of configuration
> files for the applications which they serve. But there are plenty of
> programs using these directories to store the data results as well as
> configuration.
I think this idea is extremely valuable and merits robust discussion to
discover ways to encourage application developers to incorporate this
way of approaching data storage.

I wonder how would you differentiate between data and configuration if
you were to write a specification for this?

Consider for example Pidgin, which stores its account data within a
".purple" directory. The same tree also contains logs for each of the
discussions, icons, application preferences and miscellaneous other files.

The account information is stored in an XML file which mixes
Pidgin-specific data with user IRC account data.

What I'm asking is, at which point do you think the line between
application data and user data needs to be drawn, or do you think that a
best practice approach might incorporate the idea that if your
application stores information that is useful to another application, it
should be stored in a non-configuration location?

Onno Benschop

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