0.8.22 Release

We are proud to release Elektra 0.8.22! In 429 commits, 8 authors changed 548 files with 60369 insertions(+), 6783 deletions(-).

What is Elektra?

Elektra serves as a universal and secure framework to access configuration settings in a global, hierarchical key database. For more information, visit https://libelektra.org.

For a small demo see here:

asciicast

You can also read the news on our website

You can read the FOSDEM interview and watch the FOSDEM main talk given recently.

Elektra is now an official part of Homebrew and Alpine Linux.

Highlights

New Logo and Website Theme

We are proud to present our new logo. It has a new shape and cooler colors.

Elektra

Thanks to Philipp Frei!

We also gave the website a new look. It has the colors from the logo and new fonts (Lato and Libre Franklin) that improve readability and add to a unique look. The restructured start page contributes to the new look as well.

We also updated asciinema-player to 2.6.0.

Thanks to Thomas Wahringer.

We also fixed security issues in the Website due to an old version of jquery, thanks to Marvin Mall.

Thanks to Bernhard Denner for keeping our infrastructure running.

INI plugin greatly improved

Thanks to René Schwaiger!

Nevertheless, we did not switch to INI as default format. This has some reasons:

But for those who want to switch, the migration will be smooth: The dini plugin makes sure that old dump files are still being read. Only when writing out configuration files, configuration files are converted to INI. To change to INI during compilation, simply use:

-DKDB_DEFAULT_STORAGE=dini

Or simply switch for your installation with:
sudo kdb change-default-storage dini

You can also mount INI (or dini) as root:
sudo kdb mount default.ini / dini

Notification API and Bindings for Asynchronous I/O

This release contains an experimental implementation of Elektra's notification feature. This feature enables applications to get updates when configuration is changed at run-time. For more details see the preview tutorial at doc/tutorials/notifications.md

The Notification API is implemented by a new library called elektra-notification. To use the library you need the new internalnotification plugin. Since the plugin is experimental it needs to be enabled when building Elektra from source (e.g. by passing -DPLUGINS="ALL;-EXPERIMENTAL;internalnotification" to cmake).

New bindings for asynchronous I/O called "I/O bindings" also have been added. These bindings allow Elektra's plugins and other parts to perform asynchronous operations. I/O bindings are opt-in for application developers. New features of Elektra that take advantage of I/O bindings will have fallbacks where viable. These fallbacks will use synchronous I/O thus keeping the status quo.

This release includes an experimental I/O binding for uv. The interface for I/O bindings is currently experimental and might change in the future.

Elektra's notification feature is not complete yet. So called "transport plugins" will be responsible for sending and receiving notifications using different protocols or libraries (like ZeroMQ or D-Bus). These plugins will make use of the new I/O bindings. We plan to introduce the first transport plugins with the next release of Elektra.

Plugin Processes

A new library called pluginprocess has been added. This library contains functions that aid in executing plugins in a separate process. This child process is forked from Elektra's main process each time such plugin is used and gets closed again afterwards. It uses a simple communication protocol based on a KeySet that gets serialized through a pipe via the dump plugin to orchestrate the processes.

Such a behavior is useful for plugins which cause memory leaks to be isolated in an own process. Furthermore this is useful for runtimes or libraries that cannot be reinitialized in the same process after they have been used.

Lookup with the Order Preserving Minimal Perfect Hash Map

The ksLookup (...) has a new search algorithm, that acts as an alternative to the binary search. The Order Preserving Minimal Perfect Hash Map (OPMPHM) is a non-dynamic, randomized hash map and is very effective for mostly static configurations. The OPMPHM can be enabled for a search by passing the in kdbproposal.h defined option KDB_O_OPMPHM to the lookup. Be aware that if the KeySet changes often using the OPMPHM might not be a good idea, read more about the OPMPHM.

When you are not sure if the OPMPHM will speed up you searches, wait for the next release, that one will include a hybrid search algorithm that combines the best properties of both search algorithms.

To disable OPMPHM (e.g. on systems with tight memory constraints), you can pass -DENABLE_OPTIMIZATIONS=OFF

Other New Features

We added even more functionality, which could not make it to the highlights:

Documentation

We improved the documentation in the following ways:

Compatibility

As always, the ABI and API of kdb.h is fully compatible, i.e. programs compiled against an older 0.8 version of Elektra will continue to work (ABI) and you will be able to recompile programs without errors (API).

We executed old test cases against the latest Elektra version and all tests passed.

In kdbinvoke.h we changed the API so that elektraInvokeOpen and elektraInvokeClose can yield error messages.

We added:

Portability

Notes for Maintainer

These notes are of interest for people maintaining packages of Elektra:

The following files are new:

The following files were removed:

Notes for Elektra's Developers

These notes are of interest for people developing Elektra:

Fixes

Many problems were resolved with the following fixes:

Get It!

You can download the release from here or GitHub

The hashsums are:

The release tarball is also available signed by me using GnuPG from here or GitHub

Already built API-Docu can be found online or GitHub.

Stay tuned!

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For any questions and comments, please contact the issue tracker on GitHub or me by email using elektra@markus-raab.org.

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For more information, see https://libelektra.org

Best regards, Elektra Initiative