why there is a problem?
Well i have read most of the comments posted about the unix configuration nightmare along with many comparisons with the windows system. i guess the problem is devided in 3 parts.
1) system level configuration ( fstab , inittab, termcap ,..................);
2) system level service configuration ( bandwidth management ,firewalling , printing, ......)
3) programs configuration
1) for system configuration files i guess all we need just write a standard api interface such as
things like that and every distro must have this api set . Normal program such as adduser, passwd and such basic programs should also use this api's. Also there must be a certain file permission that allows only kernel level process to modify these files in order for them not to be modified by hand. I guess this would not take too much time because basic system configuration files are not that numerous.
2) as for the system level services configuration problem. i was and still am writting a program for intefaacing the tc command line. the documents about tc are pieces of shit. some of them tells you what is completly the opposite of the others. so develeper of such services ( specially new ones ) should create more friendly interfaces along with a programming api interface too. so that things can be easily interfaced later
3)as for the programs configuration problem .it lies in the open source projects. Almost all developers of the open source projects do not give much attention to the configuration of their programs. Take blackbox as an example it is a wonderfull window manager configuration is a nightmare. another one is window maker too much configuration before you can really run it, now kde just runs as soon as you start it. so who is the most popular kde. that is why windows is popular not because the system is popular but because application are much easier to configure if my configuration is hard my software would not sell. But for linux we use a lot programs only because there is nothing else to
use to acconplish a specific task. So the main idea is when a software developer creates a new program he should make a configuration program along with it. i guess that will solve many of our problems.
In the end, I want to say computer is about programs. Programs should do the stuff .If i have a program to configure things i don't really have to care how the configuration is written, where it is written or whether it is centralised or distributed. actually if i did not know that windows has a registry I would have never guessed. I never needed direct access to it as a user.