> The only "advantages" of the registry are that you can't grep it, can't make it read-only, and can't back it up without special tools. Oh, and since it's a giant binary file, it can get "corrupted."
There are enough good arguments against a registry, and reasons why the advantages are outweighed by the disadvantages, that not making them in favour of making the rather silly claim that it has *no* advantages *at all* (and sarcastically listing its disadvantages as "advantages") takes away rather than adds to your point.
So in the interests of balance, I'll play devil's advocate and throw out a couple of advantages of a registry database system:
- Key-level access controls, which can be done with text files only by having only one key/value per file (which has its own disadvantages)
- All the atomicity, transactioning, and other consistency advantages that a database & dbms give you
- Strongly-typed data
- Changes are done through a standardised API, which makes makes a lot of stuff, such as centralised administration, easier
- .reg files, gconftool, etc. have no real equivalent in text files with unstandardised syntax
A lot of those aren't only advantages of a *binary* registry -- e.g. the gnome registry, gconf, uses xml files as a backend by default, but still has a standardised API, strongly-typed data, etc. The arguments between using e.g. xml as a backend and a binary database backend are probably fairly standard, and other people will be able to argue either way better than I would (but it is a tradeoff, e.g. between ability to make manual edits in an emergency as against parsing speed).