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plain-text registry hives

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:29 pm
by user222
Why not use plain-text registry hives like WINE? It would be much easier to repair, as it could be edited with a text editor.

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 2:23 pm
by Gasmann

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 5:09 pm
by w3seek
i would be lost in a several hundreds of megabytes big text file... and the system would be horribly slow...

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:04 pm
by Dolphin
I think the registry isn't a good invention at all. It is an evergrowing unmaintainable monster and I had to reinstall windows and all my programs in the last few years at least 3 times due to registry corruption / filesystem problems. Without a registry I wouldn't have had to reinstall all the programs I think (ok, DLLs may have been missing, but thats another story that isn't a good invention either :P)

But it is required to be compatible to MS Windows. Maybe it would be possible to keep a synced "human readable text registry" with the binary one. So that one can change the text registry and let the system sync the changes into the binary one? But I don't really see the benefits.... there are .REG files and Regedit, that should be enough, right?

I would instead prefer to have a really good auto-backup and restore mechanism though (not only for the registry) :wink:.

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:55 pm
by user222
w3seek wrote:i would be lost in a several hundreds of megabytes big text file... and the system would be horribly slow...
Did you know that the Windows registry also has a maximum size? Also, each registry hive would need to have a separate file anyway, even if they are plain-text files.

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:13 pm
by counting_pine
I don't think it needs to be in plain text. A good backup system should help against problems with corruption, and a registry compacter/defragmenter/thingy should help keep it running smoothly.
I'd just be happy if there was an easy way of importing/exporting/editing without having to load the operating system. It's annoying when you can't load up Windows to fix a registry problem, because there's a registry problem stopping you loading Windows.

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:26 pm
by Dolphin
Then the registry reapair program / function should be included in the bootloader or emergency tool (that is independent from any information the normal system uses (possible solution: a (dos) prompt + commandline tools???).

Another problem could be security issues with such a solution I think...

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:39 pm
by counting_pine
Dolphin wrote:Another problem could be security issues with such a solution I think...
Does Windows have an answer to this problem? Or does it just rely on the fact that there's no easy way to edit the registry outside Windows?

Perhaps registry hives could be password protected?

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:10 pm
by Dolphin
as far as i know it relies on the fact that you cannot edit the registry without running windows that is using this registry ... that's why the emergency console (win2k) is not working when the registry is badly damaged (you need to log in to repair your windows).

But I'm not a professional windows administrator, maybe there are some hidden ways...

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:32 pm
by w3seek
user222 wrote:
w3seek wrote:i would be lost in a several hundreds of megabytes big text file... and the system would be horribly slow...
Did you know that the Windows registry also has a maximum size? Also, each registry hive would need to have a separate file anyway, even if they are plain-text files.
Of course I do, but a plain text registry will use *much* more space!

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:34 pm
by w3seek
whatever advantages a plain-text registry might have (i can't think of any) - we're not going to implement them, it'd be a huge step backwards to a wine-like registry.

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:36 pm
by Dr. Fred
Have you ever thought of making two (or more) regestries ? One for regulary used keys, that could stay in Memory and one for fewer used ones.

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:28 pm
by SirTalon
Dolphin wrote:as far as i know it relies on the fact that you cannot edit the registry without running windows that is using this registry ... that's why the emergency console (win2k) is not working when the registry is badly damaged (you need to log in to repair your windows).

But I'm not a professional windows administrator, maybe there are some hidden ways...
I believe there are programs in Knoppix (or maybe it was another live cd?) to access Window's registry.

I'm not a big fan of one massive binary registry (ok well its actually like 5 massive binary files) since it provides several single point of failure to wipe out the entire OS.

As the binary registry files get bigger and bigger (they never seem to get smaller) the system gets slower and slower. At my old school all the computers in the computer lab always warn that the registry has reached it's maximum size at start up (win2k boxes, about 20 something of them in that lab). Some utilities that try to keep the registry clean should be implimited to prevent that sort of thing from happening. It doesn't help that so many programs leave junk in the registry when they are uninstalled.

Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:02 am
by counting_pine
Dr. Fred wrote:Have you ever thought of making two (or more) regestries ? One for regulary used keys, that could stay in Memory and one for fewer used ones.
I'm not sure that could be done without harming Windows-compatibility.

Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:49 am
by MadRat
Windows already uses three registries for redundancy purposes. And a plain text file wouldn't be very wise when you consider the implications of Permissions, Ownership, and the distinctions between keys and value types.