Windows Registry a Good Idea or what?

One of the hot new features introduced with Windows 95 was the Windows Registry. The Windows Registry offered a centralized database-like location to store application and system settings. No more plain text .INI files splattered all over your system. Instead, issue a few easy API calls and your application settings are safely nestled away deep […]

One of the hot new features introduced with Windows 95 was the Windows Registry. The Windows Registry offered a centralized database-like location to store application and system settings. No more plain text .INI files splattered all over your system. Instead, issue a few easy API calls and your application settings are safely nestled away deep inside the registry hive.

But after living with the Windows Registry for more than a decade, I'm starting to wonder if we were better off with those .INI files.

I understand the need to store truly system-wide settings in one place. Let the operating system store settings however it deems fit. The real problem with the registry is that it was exposed to the outside world. Instead of being a secure, central hive for only the most essential and global settings, over time the registry has slowly become a trash heap of miscellaneous junk settings for every rinky-dink application on the planet.

Woe to the poor computer user who naïvely attempts to manipulate the filesystem without first supplicating to the Registry Gods. Manipulating the filesystem is utterly obvious, completely intuitive, and unfortunately also the fastest way to break an application in Windows. You have to reconcile almost everything you do in the filesystem with that opaque, unforgiving binary blob of data known as the Windows Registry.

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Microsoft, Windows, Windows Registry, Article