where to save settings? C++

i am making a program, going to have over 300 customable settings... not sure the best place to store the settings, the registry an .ini file or what??? i know that if i have an ini file with over 300 enteries it will slow the program down, which would be the best way to do this (i have also thought about multiple ini files)
crimsAsked:
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bpmurrayConnect With a Mentor Commented:
With that number of settings, avoiding the hit when you load them is important. Perhaps a bespoke settings file is the solution. You can serialize your settings class and read it in when you start, so the load will occur in a single read.
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AlexFMCommented:
Recommended way is using Registry. If you have some reasons to do this using ini file, you can do this as well. Both Registry functions and functions working with ini files, like WritePrivateProfileString, are optimized and don't slow down program working with 300 entries.
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jhanceCommented:
INI files are obsolete and in Microsoft's opinion should not be used any more (although THEY STILL use them!!).  The most common place today is the registry although with newer apps that is changing...

The new place to keep application settings is in a file in XML format.  If you look at where much of the newest Microsoft software is keeping settings, it's in configuration files in XML format.
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yotamsherCommented:
Another aspect to take into consideration, is the nature of the "settings"
for example, if it is just a list of values, the .ini file (though not "modern"), is very efficient, in both read, and write (and maintanence), and each value can be read only when needed..
but if the data, is more structured, ( properties, sub properties, optional settings etc.) then you are left with the other two options:
1) registry: very fast, has permissionning has parts which are per user, and parts global
2) XML file(s): easier to use (there is always a parser around) better structured, and the files can be copied and used accross computers.

not an easy decision ha?

if you need a more specific answer, you'll need to give a more detailed picture of your settings.

regarding serialization to binary file, well it is tempting in terms of performance, but I'd use it only if everything else fails.

Yotam
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