On 12/1/2016 11:44 AM, Jon Evans wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
> Per my recent email, I'm going to be looking in to various UI/UX things,
> starting with Eeschema, and I thought of a topic that probably warrants
> its own thread.
> 
> Some of the things I want to propose would involve giving the user more
> options for customization of the tool (i.e. more preferences, color
> themes, etc).
> 
> Right now, it seems like all KiCad configuration data is stored in a
> INI-style key-value file per binary (one for eeschema, one for pcbnew,
> etc) in the user's application data folder.
> 
> What do the core developers think about the possibility of
> changing/expanding the way KiCad uses files for configuration?
> 
> Some examples I thought of:
> 
> - Switching to a format like YAML or JSON that allows nesting of
> configuration parameters, for more clean configuration

I'm not thrilled about using YAML or JSON.  It would add another build
dependency and I can't think of any config settings in kicad that need
this kind of nested file complexity.  That being said, we certainly
could clean up our current config files.  I've never been a big fan of
prefixing the window frame name to the key (SchematicFramePos_y,
LibeditFrameShowGrid, ViewlibFrameSize_y, etc) in on one huge section.
I would like to see the config settings take advantage of the wxConfig
paths so the config files would look something like:

[Schematic/Frame]
X=0
Y=0
Width=600
Height=400
[LibViewer/Frame]
X=200
Y=100
Width=400
Height=200

This would certainly be a lot cleaner (more readable) than what we are
currently doing.

See http://docs.wxwidgets.org/3.0/classwx_config_base.html for examples
using wxConfig paths.

> 
> - A "configuration hierarchy" system, meaning that there are "system
> defaults" for all values stored in a file somewhere, and when the user
> starts changing them, they are creating a new file in their home
> directory that "overrides" whatever settings they have changed, rather
> than updating the system config.  This would allow the default config to
> be preserved if multiple users on one PC want to have different local
> settings.  It would also make it easier for people to send config to
> each other, and to back up their config by checking it in to a Git
> repository for example.  Sublime Text is one example of a program that
> does this, and it works really well in my opinion.

I'm OK with this.  Most of the default config settings are hard coded
since there is no config on startup so you may have a lot of work to do
in this regard.

> 
> - Splitting out certain configuration items into distinct files, rather
> than using a single file for all config of a certain program.  Color
> themes are one area where this is often done in other programs, so that
> people can download/share new color themes without having to copy/paste
> certain areas of a global config file.

I'm OK with this too.  You could split out the viewer and editor frame
settings into separate config files so they are more manageable.

> 
> So, any opinions on this?  Just knowing something like "never gonna
> happen" versus "sounds interesting, send more details" is good feedback
> for me at this point, that way I can know up front what kind of changes
> are likely to be accepted when I come up with more detailed proposals.
> 
> Best,
> Jon
> 
> 
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