[Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

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[Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Hans-Peter Diettrich
I just encountered a nasty problem:

When I have multiple Lazarus installations (trunk, branches,
snapshot...), the common Lazarus configuration is used by default (when
no --pcp is specified). Actually I wondered about many error messages on
an IDE rebuild, until I noticed that the (default) configuration
referred to a different Lazarus directory :-(

This leads me to the question, how a user should configure and start
Lazarus at all?

What exactly happens when the IDE is invoked, from a desktop item or
command prompt?
Where does the IDE look for the configuration? Is it sufficient to have
a MyLazarus\cfg\ directory, to make the MyLazarus\Lazarus.exe use the
configuration in that directory?

IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE)
directory first, and only into the common directory when no config can
be found there. The config naming instead suggests that the IDE looks
into the *primary* (common) config directory first, and into its own
directory only next (*secondary* config path).


What exactly happens when the IDE rebuilds itself?
Which directory is used for the sources, and for storing the new
(compiled) IDE? Does it make any sense to rebuild the IDE from sources
in a different directory, and where is the new IDE stored?


Can somebody please clarify the intended procedure for configuring
multiple parallel Lazarus installations?

DoDi


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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

michael.vancanneyt


On Wed, 30 Mar 2011, Hans-Peter Diettrich wrote:

> I just encountered a nasty problem:
>
> When I have multiple Lazarus installations (trunk, branches, snapshot...),
> the common Lazarus configuration is used by default (when no --pcp is
> specified). Actually I wondered about many error messages on an IDE rebuild,
> until I noticed that the (default) configuration referred to a different
> Lazarus directory :-(
>
> This leads me to the question, how a user should configure and start Lazarus
> at all?
>
> What exactly happens when the IDE is invoked, from a desktop item or command
> prompt?
> Where does the IDE look for the configuration? Is it sufficient to have a
> MyLazarus\cfg\ directory, to make the MyLazarus\Lazarus.exe use the
> configuration in that directory?
>
> IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE) directory
> first, and only into the common directory when no config can be found there.

Well, definitely not on Unix.
On unix, the EXE directory should never contain config files.

Michael.

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Vincent Snijders
In reply to this post by Hans-Peter Diettrich
2011/3/30 Hans-Peter Diettrich <[hidden email]>:
> Can somebody please clarify the intended procedure for configuring multiple
> parallel Lazarus installations?
>

Always specify the primary config directory, if you have multiple
parallel Lazarus installations. You may add the --pcp parameter in the
shortcut you use to start lazarus.
http://wiki.freepascal.org/Multiple_Lazarus#The_config_directory

Vincent

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Andreas Schneider
In reply to this post by michael.vancanneyt
On Wednesday, March 30, 2011 11:19 [hidden email] wrote:
> Well, definitely not on Unix.
> On unix, the EXE directory should never contain config files.

That  depends.  I  think I'm not the only Lazarus user who has Lazarus
"installed"  in  his  home  directory; i.e. without "make install". In
that  case  it  wouldn't hurt to have the configs being looked up in a
subdirectory  of that path. However I share Vincent's opinion that the
--pcp  parameter  is far easier and no matter what system, it's always
pretty easy to create a launcher (shortcut on windows, shell script on
*nix). For example a startlaz_trunk.sh in ~/bin/, that simply executes
~/laztrunk/startlazarus --pcp=...

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Martin Frb
On 30/03/2011 10:56, Andreas Schneider wrote:

> On Wednesday, March 30, 2011 11:19 [hidden email] wrote:
>> Well, definitely not on Unix.
>> On unix, the EXE directory should never contain config files.
> That  depends.  I  think I'm not the only Lazarus user who has Lazarus
> "installed"  in  his  home  directory; i.e. without "make install". In
> that  case  it  wouldn't hurt to have the configs being looked up in a
> subdirectory  of that path. However I share Vincent's opinion that the
> --pcp  parameter  is far easier and no matter what system, it's always
> pretty easy to create a launcher (shortcut on windows, shell script on
> *nix). For example a startlaz_trunk.sh in ~/bin/, that simply executes
> ~/laztrunk/startlazarus --pcp=...
>

The problem is many users install a 2nd copy, but do not know....

My idea (but I havent got the time) would be:
- lazarus remembers it's own exe-path in the enviroments-options.xml
- if the exe path changes, lazarus gives a warning (can be switched off)

If a user runs 2 installations he will be warned
Same if the user moves the installation, which imho is ok

Martin

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Mark Morgan Lloyd
In reply to this post by Andreas Schneider
Andreas Schneider wrote:

> On Wednesday, March 30, 2011 11:19 [hidden email] wrote:
>> Well, definitely not on Unix.
>> On unix, the EXE directory should never contain config files.
>
> That  depends.  I  think I'm not the only Lazarus user who has Lazarus
> "installed"  in  his  home  directory; i.e. without "make install". In
> that  case  it  wouldn't hurt to have the configs being looked up in a
> subdirectory  of that path. However I share Vincent's opinion that the
> --pcp  parameter  is far easier and no matter what system, it's always
> pretty easy to create a launcher (shortcut on windows, shell script on
> *nix). For example a startlaz_trunk.sh in ~/bin/, that simply executes
> ~/laztrunk/startlazarus --pcp=...

I agree, but I think that there could be merit in having a "default
default" somewhere that specifies (a) what version of FPC the current
lazarus binary was compiled with and (b) what directory its associated
files were compiled into. Even if this was only used for a messagebox
when the IDE started it would be a useful warning for the numerous
people- inexperienced or otherwise- who get bitten by this.

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Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Graeme Geldenhuys
In reply to this post by Martin Frb
On 30/03/2011 12:02, Martin wrote:
>
> The problem is many users install a 2nd copy, but do not know....

True.

> My idea (but I havent got the time) would be:
> - lazarus remembers it's own exe-path in the enviroments-options.xml
> - if the exe path changes, lazarus gives a warning (can be switched off)


Why not simply do something similar to what Mozilla did (accessible via
--ProfileManager), but build it into 'startlazarus' somehow...eg:
buttons on the splashscreen or something. So that startlazarus can
prompt you for which "profile" you want to load up. You should also be
able to add new profiles from that screen.  That way you can possibly
have one Lazarus icon on you desktop which can launch multiple profiles.



Regards,
   - Graeme -

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Hans-Peter Diettrich
In reply to this post by michael.vancanneyt
[hidden email] schrieb:

>> IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE)
>> directory first, and only into the common directory when no config can
>> be found there.
>
> Well, definitely not on Unix. On unix, the EXE directory should never
> contain config files.

I dare to disagree. A SVN checkout is writeable, and this is where the
EXE is stored, along with the related source files. Consequently the
config should be stored there as well.

You seem to think of a standard Lazarus installation in some protected
directory. In this case it should do no harm when that directory does
*not* contain any config, whereupon the IDE will search other places.

DoDi


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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Marco van de Voort
In reply to this post by Vincent Snijders
On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 11:37:06AM +0200, Vincent Snijders wrote:
> > Can somebody please clarify the intended procedure for configuring multiple
> > parallel Lazarus installations?
> >
>
> Always specify the primary config directory, if you have multiple
> parallel Lazarus installations. You may add the --pcp parameter in the
> shortcut you use to start lazarus.
> http://wiki.freepascal.org/Multiple_Lazarus#The_config_directory

I think it would avoid a lot of trouble if e.g. lazarus put a version number
(FPC, Lazarus?) in the central xml file (environment?), and if the number
not matches, ask to upgrade or write a new config.

There is some version number, but it looks more like the format of the XML
file.

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Zaher Dirkey
In reply to this post by Hans-Peter Diettrich

On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM, Hans-Peter Diettrich <[hidden email]> wrote:
I just encountered a nasty problem:

When I have multiple Lazarus installations (trunk, branches, snapshot...), the common Lazarus configuration is used by default (when no --pcp is specified). Actually I wondered about many error messages on an IDE rebuild, until I noticed that the (default) configuration referred to a different Lazarus directory :-(

This leads me to the question, how a user should configure and start Lazarus at all?

What exactly happens when the IDE is invoked, from a desktop item or command prompt?
Where does the IDE look for the configuration? Is it sufficient to have a MyLazarus\cfg\ directory, to make the MyLazarus\Lazarus.exe use the configuration in that directory?

IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE) directory first, and only into the common directory when no config can be found there. The config naming instead suggests that the IDE looks into the *primary* (common) config directory first, and into its own directory only next (*secondary* config path).


What exactly happens when the IDE rebuilds itself?
Which directory is used for the sources, and for storing the new (compiled) IDE? Does it make any sense to rebuild the IDE from sources in a different directory, and where is the new IDE stored?


Can somebody please clarify the intended procedure for configuring multiple parallel Lazarus installations?

DoDi


Regards
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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Mattias Gaertner

 

 


Zaher Dirkey <[hidden email]> hat am 30. März 2011 um 14:26 geschrieben:


On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM, Hans-Peter Diettrich <[hidden email]> wrote:
I just encountered a nasty problem:

When I have multiple Lazarus installations (trunk, branches, snapshot...), the common Lazarus configuration is used by default (when no --pcp is specified). Actually I wondered about many error messages on an IDE rebuild, until I noticed that the (default) configuration referred to a different Lazarus directory :-(

 

Related:

Last week I add a check to test if the given Lazarus directory has the same main version as the IDE. It checks 0.9.31. It does not check the svn revision. If the version does not fit it shows a setup dialog. This should help to spot some of such errors.

 

 


This leads me to the question, how a user should configure and start Lazarus at all?

 

When you only have one: just start.

When having multiple: use --pcp.

 


What exactly happens when the IDE is invoked, from a desktop item or command prompt?

 

The installers sets the icon/menu entry to start "startlazarus". You can give it the command line parameter --pcp.

startlazarus reads the config and starts either the default installed Lazarus executable or the custom built Lazarus executable (the one with your installed packages). Under Windows it also renames the newly created IDE executable.

 

 

Where does the IDE look for the configuration?

 

If no --pcp is given it uses

Under windows:

PrimaryConfigPath:= ExtractFilePath(ChompPathDelim(SysToUTF8(GetAppConfigDir(False)))) + 'lazarus';

all other:

~/.lazarus

 

If no --lazarus-dir option is given the Lazarus source directory is taken from the environmentoptions.xml.

If there is no environmentoptions.xml it is copied from the secondary config directory.

The default for the Lazarus directory is under windows:

DefaultDrive + '\lazarus';

all other:

The IDE searches in a list of common directories.

 

Each distribution/installer adds some gory details. For example to explain all the paths of the debian packages would require at least one wiki page on its own.

The basic Lazarus setup is pretty simple, but you can do it arbitrarily complicated.

 

 

Is it sufficient to have a MyLazarus\cfg\ directory, to make the MyLazarus\Lazarus.exe use the configuration in that directory?

 

I'm not an expert for the windows installer, but the IDE sources do not mention 'cfg'. I guess "cfg" is not used.

 

 

IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE) directory first,

 

... which might be read only and therefore only contains the defaults, not the user settings.

 

 

and only into the common directory when no config can be found there. The config naming instead suggests that the IDE looks into the *primary* (common) config directory first, and into its own directory only next (*secondary* config path).

 

Yes.

 

 


What exactly happens when the IDE rebuilds itself?

 

It uses "make" with some parameters to compile. If the output directory is read only it passes a parameter to redirect the output to a sub directory (bin) of the pcp. And because Windows locks the running exe the IDE redirects the exe name, which is then later renamed to the final name by startlazarus.

 

 

Which directory is used for the sources,

 

The Lazarus directory.

 

 

and for storing the new (compiled) IDE?

 

It the Lazarus directory is writable the output is created there, just as if you use "make" yourself.

If not, it redirects it. See above.

 

 

Does it make any sense to rebuild the IDE from sources in a different directory, and where is the new IDE stored?
Can somebody please clarify the intended procedure for configuring multiple parallel Lazarus installations?

Vincents already answered that.

Mattias


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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Martin Frb
In reply to this post by Hans-Peter Diettrich
On 30/03/2011 12:16, Hans-Peter Diettrich wrote:

> [hidden email] schrieb:
>
>>> IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE)
>>> directory first, and only into the common directory when no config
>>> can be found there.
>>
>> Well, definitely not on Unix. On unix, the EXE directory should never
>> contain config files.
>
> I dare to disagree. A SVN checkout is writeable, and this is where the
> EXE is stored, along with the related source files. Consequently the
> config should be stored there as well.
>
> You seem to think of a standard Lazarus installation in some protected
> directory. In this case it should do no harm when that directory does
> *not* contain any config, whereupon the IDE will search other places.

But that is only where to search:
- That is: IF there was a config in the local director, then yes maybe
it would be good to use this local config
- Except: people who had lazarus for a long time, and kept upgrading,
may still have an old 0.9.24 config there => and that may be very
outdated, so that would not be good either.

It doesn't solve the problem for newbies.
An SVN checkout has no config files in the beginning.

So if the IDE starts without any config file (let's assume, there are
none in the default location either); then the IDE must decide where to
create them.
And that is in the default location.
Defining some rule where new config will be autocreated, sometimes here,
sometimes there... IMHO the worst idea ever...

So, even if the IDE was scanning the local dir first, users who want 2
or more installs would have to know that they must hand-create (or
otherwise force) this local config before they use the 2nd install.
(currently it is knowing the --pcp switch).
Either ways, users who do not know, will be in trouble...

Martin

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Martin Frb
In reply to this post by Mattias Gaertner
On 30/03/2011 14:23, Mattias Gaertner wrote:

 

 


Zaher Dirkey [hidden email] hat am 30. März 2011 um 14:26 geschrieben:


On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM, Hans-Peter Diettrich <[hidden email]> wrote:
I just encountered a nasty problem:

When I have multiple Lazarus installations (trunk, branches, snapshot...), the common Lazarus configuration is used by default (when no --pcp is specified). Actually I wondered about many error messages on an IDE rebuild, until I noticed that the (default) configuration referred to a different Lazarus directory :-(

 

Related:

Last week I add a check to test if the given Lazarus directory has the same main version as the IDE. It checks 0.9.31. It does not check the svn revision. If the version does not fit it shows a setup dialog. This should help to spot some of such errors.



Why only chec the version?

why not check, if the lazarus.exe is in the same folder, as it was the on the previous run?

an lazarus.exe in a new/different folder is very likely in need of it's own config.

---

btw, I just saw that conf dialog: very cool

Martin

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

michael.vancanneyt
In reply to this post by Hans-Peter Diettrich


On Wed, 30 Mar 2011, Hans-Peter Diettrich wrote:

> [hidden email] schrieb:
>
>>> IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE) directory
>>> first, and only into the common directory when no config can be found
>>> there.
>>
>> Well, definitely not on Unix. On unix, the EXE directory should never
>> contain config files.
>
> I dare to disagree. A SVN checkout is writeable, and this is where the EXE is
> stored, along with the related source files. Consequently the config should
> be stored there as well.

No, no and once more: no.

This is a typical Windows user reasoning which is total nonsense on unix.
You should never ever leave a config file or an executable in a source
directory, it's plain wrong to do so. I don't know a single unix application
that does this.


Config files belong in 1 of 3 places:

under /etc/myapp
under ~/.myapp
under ~/config/myapp

If you want to support multiple configurations, create subdirectories of
these directories, period.

Don't try to force Windows habits on Unix users.

Michael.

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Paulo Costa
On 30/03/2011 14:49, [hidden email] wrote:
>
> Don't try to force Windows habits on Unix users.

Beware!

It's more a single user versus multi user mindset. And it is a memory
optimization, by having the same executable on disk, and in memory, for
multiple users.
It has also the downside that, for it to be effective, it forces all the
users to use the same version of each application.


Paulo Costa

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
In reply to this post by michael.vancanneyt
Maybe Lazarus should simply come with a sh script and a batch script,
which would do:

./startlazarus --pcp=./config

and

startlazarus.exe --pcp=config

They could be called: singleuserlazarus.sh and singleuserlazarus.bat

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Mattias Gaertner

 

 

Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho <[hidden email]> hat am 30. März 2011 um 16:20 geschrieben:

> Maybe Lazarus should simply come with a sh script and a batch script,
> which would do:
>
> ./startlazarus --pcp=./config
>
> and
>
> startlazarus.exe --pcp=config
>
> They could be called: singleuserlazarus.sh and singleuserlazarus.bat

 

It's not only for single user.

Maybe better localconfiglazarus?



Mattias


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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Hans-Peter Diettrich
In reply to this post by Mattias Gaertner
Mattias Gaertner schrieb:

>>     Where does the IDE look for the configuration?
>>
>  
>
> If no --pcp is given it uses
>
> Under windows:
>
> PrimaryConfigPath:=
> ExtractFilePath(ChompPathDelim(SysToUTF8(GetAppConfigDir(False)))) +
> 'lazarus';
>
> all other:
>
> ~/.lazarus

This will be the common configuration, that only can apply to *one*
installation. As long as we consider only that single installation,
*everything* is acceptable for the config path.


> If no --lazarus-dir option is given the Lazarus source directory is
> taken from the environmentoptions.xml.
>
> If there is no environmentoptions.xml it is copied from the secondary
> config directory.
>
> The default for the Lazarus directory is under windows:
>
> DefaultDrive + '\lazarus';
>
> all other:
>
> The IDE searches in a list of common directories.

What's the purpose of specifying a Lazarus directory, other than the one
with the IDE?

IOW is there a purpose for specifying a Lazarus directory other than the
one with the IDE?

If not, that directory must not be stored anywhere, making a single
configuration usable with multiple installations, and every installation
uses its EXE path for the Lazarus directory. That's perfectly compatible
with the commandline (make all...).


> Each distribution/installer adds some gory details. For example to
> explain all the paths of the debian packages would require at least one
> wiki page on its own.
>
> The basic Lazarus setup is pretty simple, but you can do it arbitrarily
> complicated.

Why do you see complications all around? What's so complicated in
removing the "Lazarus directory" entry from the stored entries, and
replacing it (at IDE start) with the EXE directory?


>>     Is it sufficient to have a MyLazarus\cfg\ directory, to make the
>>     MyLazarus\Lazarus.exe use the configuration in that directory?
>>
>  
>
> I'm not an expert for the windows installer, but the IDE sources do not
> mention 'cfg'. I guess "cfg" is not used.

Okay, name it as you like. The config directory name only must not
conflict with any name in a Lazarus directory.


>>     IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE)
>>     directory first,
>>
>  
>
> ... which might be read only and therefore only contains the defaults,
> not the user settings.

In which case the IDE is free to look somewhere else. All I want is
stopping the IDE from looking somewhere else, when the EXE directory
contains a config directory (of a name to be specified). Is that so hard
to understand?

DoDi


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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Felipe Monteiro de Carvalho
In reply to this post by Mattias Gaertner
2011/3/30 Mattias Gaertner <[hidden email]>:
> It's not only for single user.
>
> Maybe better localconfiglazarus?

Indeed, that's a better name.

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Re: [Lazarus] Lazarus config woes

Mattias Gaertner
In reply to this post by Hans-Peter Diettrich

 

 

Hans-Peter Diettrich <[hidden email]> hat am 30. März 2011 um 17:29 geschrieben:

>[...]
> What's the purpose of specifying a Lazarus directory, other than the one
> with the IDE?

 

I guess, with 'IDE' you mean the lazarus executable.

This executable may be in the config directory, when the Lazarus directory itself was not writable.

And you can debug the IDE with another IDE.

 

 

>[...]
> Why do you see complications all around? What's so complicated in
> removing the "Lazarus directory" entry from the stored entries, and
> replacing it (at IDE start) with the EXE directory?

 

Removing options is always easy for the implementor, but not for the users.

 

Felipe gave a simple solution.

 

>[...]
> >>     IMO the IDE should look for a configuration in the current (EXE)
> >>     directory first,
> >>
> > 
> >
> > ... which might be read only and therefore only contains the defaults,
> > not the user settings.
>
> In which case the IDE is free to look somewhere else. All I want is
> stopping the IDE from looking somewhere else, when the EXE directory
> contains a config directory (of a name to be specified). Is that so hard
> to understand?

No, no, it's easy to understand. You want something existing except for some part. You have a different opinion about the defaults.


Mattias


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