profile.c (kernel32): API broken

Claudio Fontana claudio.fontana at
Wed Aug 5 10:10:51 CDT 2009

Just a reminder to everyone involved with profile.c:

I have watched the git log of the somewhat recent changes to kernel32/profile.c.

The profile API does not work that way.

The current situation is even worse than before, when the undocumented
empty string section and empty keys were not implemented at all.
The current situation leads to consistent INI file corruption when the
applications use the undocumented empty string section and empty keys.

I tried to explain how the API works under Windows many times. This is
another casual attempt at giving you a reality check.
If you are interested, you can contact me for further details, or look
at the testcases in my last patch (search for profile.c / Claudio

A good fix in profile.c is difficult because of the unfortunate use of
the empty string as sentinel in the implementation. Probably rewriting
the module would be a better idea.

In short again: empty string section is just another (valid) section
under Windows.
Depending on the windows version the section is represented in the
saved file after []\r\n at the beginning of the INI file
or with no header at all.

The empty key can be requested and saved in a named section.
The empty key in a named section is just another (valid) key under Windows.
The empty key value is represented in the saved file after the header
of the appropriate section in this way, just as logic would suggest:


Those "empty string" sections and "empty string" keys should be found
when querying using the profile API.
Currently it does not happen, leading to INI corruption (multiple
repeated empty sections' values, none of which are found by the API).


Claudio Fontana

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