Software program configuration
99 percent perspiration!


go A web development tool named WebHub, circa 1996, implemented the idea of context (then called "SetupID") when loading values from INI files. This idea evolved over ten years and became formalized as the ZaphodsMap system.

go The Windows Registry handles many of the questions tackled by ZaphodsMap.

Who or What is Zaphod?

We needed an extremely unique and memorable name for the configuration system, especially for the environment variable. After much debate, we chose the name Zaphod, from Douglas Adam's humerous science fiction stories. You can read about the character Zaphod on wiki.

Why does Zaphod have a MAP?

Zaphod's goal (in this context) is to load software configuration values - aka user preferences and settings. To do that, he has to find the right file. To do that, he needs a pointer (or "key"). He keeps his all keys for certain software in a certain keybox. And to find the keybox... yes, he needs a map... metaphorically speaking, of course.

For technical people: the map is nothing more or less than a uniquely named environment variable that points to a folder on disk.

The unique name is ZaphodsMap.

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