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Registry versus INI file


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Can somebody give me a speed comparison for reading/writing a value to the registry versus reading/writing the same value to an INI file? To date, I've always used INI files, but I'm wondering when speed and performance are paramount, would I be better off using the registry?


My objective is exchanging small amounts of data (eg, under 20 characters) with a program I write in a different language. Actually, I can send data from macro express to the other program by embedding the data in the command line, but my issue is returning to result from the other program to the macro that is in process.


Are there any options for exchanging data between macros and other programs other than what I have considered: registry, INI (or other text file), or command line? is there any way to have an external program write a value to an environment variable such that macro express can read it? It is my understanding that when macro express is launched, it makes a local copy of the environment variables so that it would not detect if an external program changed an environment variable value.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have never done any actual speed comparisons as most seem pretty quick. But my preference is to use the registry. It's all spooled up in memory so you won't get the constant disk writes. Personally I avoid read/writes to disk but it's rare that it's ever noticeable if you do. I had a macro once that was using two ASCII File Processes commands where one would "Look up" a SSN in another and there were about 35,000 records and it was pretty slow so I changed to do it all from memory instead and things were much faster. But that's plowing thru 30k records where each one requires looking up an comparing on average 15k records each time then writing results to disk. But don't forget also that for small amounts of memory Windows caches making it literally as fast as memory. Sometimes I use the windows clipboard but that can be annoying. But for my money I've never noticed any speed problems, even with large amounts and iterations of data using the registry.

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