Currently, the ability for a core developer to add per-table & per-CF configuration settings is very heavyweight. You need to add a reserved keyword all the way up the stack & you have to support this variable long-term if you're going to expose it explicitly to the user. This has ended up with using Configuration.get() a lot because it is lightweight and you can tweak settings while you're trying to understand system behavior [since there are many config params that may never need to be tuned]. We need to add the ability to put & read arbitrary KV settings in the HBase schema. Combined with online schema change, this will allow us to safely iterate on configuration settings.