Originally Posted by stuffe
Cheers for that. I would love for someone who genuinely understands what the registry does and how/why to explain why people hate it so much. ...
I haven't wrassled with the registry since Windows 95 days but a few answers to the question of "what's so bad about the registry" are as follows:
1) Its a database, so like Entourage, a single corrupt file can corrupt the whole database rendering the computer useless. A problem with a single programs access to the registry, can affect all the other programs just like a single bad email in Entourage can hose your entire mail/calendar/contacts system.
2) It has few if any rules. Programs can all read and write the registry, they *may* delete their references when they are uninstalled, they may not. They may overwrite preferences for other programs, they may not. Because almost no companies ever remove
their info from the registry, (even on uninstall) it's a database that is always growing and growing.
3) The registry also contains crucial system information. This means that the user that goes into the registry trying to edit something can easily destroy parts of the base system. With OS-X and Unix computers, the system is kept mostly separate from the apps.
3) The registry contains crucial
information for the running of programs, not "just plist stuff." On a Mac, like most Unix systems, the .plist's are just text files, they are individual to the program and they can be deleted at almost any time without problem or affect. With very few exceptions the plist can be safely deleted for any Mac application and the app will simply re-create it on startup with all the defaults. It's like a "reset" of the program. The registry on the other hand is a delicate business containing dozens of cryptic keys and other things that the program absolutely needs to run. Deleting the registry entry for a program in Windows will many times completely "break" the program, requiring a re-install.