0.8.12 Release

Again we managed to release with new features, many build system fixes and also other improvements.

dir namespace

This namespace adds per-project or per-directory (hence the name) configurations. E.g. think how git works: not only /etc and ~ are relevant sources for configuration but also the nearest .git directory.

This technique is, however, much more widely useful than just for git repositories! Nearly every application can benefit from such a per-dir configuration. Its almost certain that you have already run into the problem that different projects have different guidelines (e.g. coding conventions, languages, whitespace requirements, line breaks, ..). Obviously, thats not a per-user configuration and its also not a per-file issue (thats how its usually solved today). So in fact you want, e.g., your editor to have an additional per-project layer to choose between such settings.

The technique is useful for nearly every other tool: - different color palettes in gimp, inkscape,.. - different languages for libreoffice - different security settings for media players, interpreters (e.g. when in Download folder) - per-folder .htaccess in apache or other web servers - any other per-dir configuration you can imagine..

It is simple to use, also for the administrative side. First, change to the folder to your folder (e.g. where a project is):

cd ~/projects/abc

Then add some user (or system or spec) configuration to have some default.

kdb set user/sw/editor/textwidth 72

Then verify that we get this value back when we do a cascading lookup:

kdb get /sw/editor/textwidth

The default configuration file for the dir-namespace is pwd/KDB_DB_DIR/filename:

kdb file dir/sw/editor/textwidth

We assume, that the project abc has the policy to use textwidth 120, so we change the dir-configuration:

kdb set dir/sw/editor/textwidth 120

Now we will get the value 120 in the folder ~/projects/abc and its subdirectories (!), but everywhere else we still get 72:

kdb get /sw/editor/textwidth

Obviously, that does not only work with kdb, but with every elektrified tool.

mount files in dir namespaces

For cascading mountpoints, the dir name is also automatically mounted, e.g.:

kdb mount editor.ini /sw/editor ini

But its also possible to only mount for the namespace dir if no cascading mountpoint is present already:

kdb mount app.ini dir/sw/app tcl

In both cases keys below dir/sw/editor would be in the INI file .dir/editor.ini and not in the file .dir/default.ecf.

dir together with spec namespace

In the project P we had the following issue: We needed on a specific computer the configuration in /etc to be used in favour of the dir config.

We could easily solve the problem using the specification:

kdb setmeta spec/sw/P/current/org/base override/#0 /sw/P/override/org/base

Hence, we could create system/sw/P/override/org/base which would be in favour of dir/sw/P/current/org/base. So we get system/sw/P/override/org/base when we do:

kdb get /sw/P/current/org/base

Alternatively, one could also use the specification:

kdb setmeta spec/sw/P/current/org/base namespace/#0 user
kdb setmeta spec/sw/P/current/org/base namespace/#1 system
kdb setmeta spec/sw/P/current/org/base namespace/#2 dir

Which makes dir the namespace with the least priority and system would be preferred. This was less suitable for our purpose, because we needed the override only on one computer. For all other computers we wanted dir to be preferred with only one specification.


The great thing is, that every elektrified application, automatically gets all the mentioned features. Not even a recompilation of the application is necessary.

Especially the specification provides flexibility not present in other configuration systems.

Qt-Gui 0.0.7

Raffael Pancheri again did a lot of stabilizing work: - show errormessage on exception when starting gui - Correctly update keyAreaView property when selecting item in TreeView - Fix crash when creating key in MountingWizard - Remove information on successful export - Show error dialog on failed import - Remove namefilters (every syntax can have any file extension) - other namespaces (including dir) are included

The GUI can be handy for many purposes, e.g. we use it already as xml and json editor. Note that there are still some bugs.

Other fixes


As always, the API and API is fully compatible. Because nothing was added, its even possible to link against an older version of Elektra (if compiled against 0.8.12).

In plugins some small changes may effect compatibility: - in rename the handling of parent key is different (see #206) - resolving of spec absolute and relative paths are no more handled identical. Instead absolute paths will be searched absolutely, while relatives are below KDB_DB_SPEC (as before). This behaviour is consistent to the behaviour of the other namespaces.

These two points are also the only unit tests that fail when Elektra 0.8.12 is used with 0.8.11 unit tests.

Build Server

Get It!

You can download the release from here and now also here on github

This release tarball now is also available signed by me using gpg

already built API-Docu can be found here

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