Reply to post: Re: "Religion gave way to pragmatism"?

Remember those holy tech wars we used to have? Heh, good times

Kristian Walsh Silver badge

Re: "Religion gave way to pragmatism"?

Odd that OSX is user friendly and works just fine with configuration files. No systemd, and no registry.

It's probably truer to say that they don't have those precise names on MacOS X...

MacOS X's "launchd" (since OSX 10.4) is basically the same approach to process management as Linux's "systemd", and MacOS configuration is more like the Windows Registry than it is like Linux /etc files.

If you're configuring all of your "Mac OS" by changing text in the files under /etc, you are not using MacOS features at all, but rather BSD Unix (or tools you've installed that were ported from Linux).

At the disk level, the bulk of OSX configuration is via property-list files, a proprietary (but very simple) binary data format. These are the *.plist files in /Library/Preferences (global settings) and /Users/____/Library/Preferences (your settings). You can edit them with a graphical tool, or use the "defaults" tool to do it in the Terminal, but you can't just open [text editor of your choice] and type new values in. In that sense, it's pretty much the same as the Windows Registry. (There's an XML representation for plists that's also supported, but OSX and most apps ship with, and use, the binary format)

There's really not much difference between the properties collection on MacOS X and the Registry on Windows except that the Windows Registry is much less granular in its on-disk format than the former. That lack of file-level partition is the only thing that makes the Registry a "bad" thing from a technical standpoint compared to plists; and the big problem with Registry isn't corruption, it's application software stomping on settings during install, and then not restoring them after uninstallation (which is why Microsoft's "Store" packaging and deployment system gives converted Win32 applications a virtual, sandboxed Registry that they can shit in to their heart's content without damaging the user's system). Nothing in the design of the OS X system would prevent this problem, but OS X developers tend to not change system settings during install, and when they do, they use the official, Apple, installer, which does manage this properly.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019