Yes, a database... a piss poor one.
> Blindly making changes to Linux config files you don't understand is likely to end in tears as well.
The great thing about text files is that they lend themselves very well to in line documentation. You can have very nice explanations for everything you might want to change. No special tools are required and the entire "hive" is very nicely partitioned. They're easy to view, edit, and backup with generic tools.
One problem with the registry is that you end up with crap in all kinds of weird places. Stuff is cryptic and byzantine and hostile to human interpretation.
The registry is over centralized over complicated trash that just barely gets along now that the underlying file system is robust enough to make up for the fact that the registry itself is a sad joke as a database engine.
The fact that a system will strongly type data doesn't prevent you from inputing total gibberish.