In OpenERP 6.1, it was a small but good feature to store the system parameters in the ir.config_parameter model. It is basically store some of the important values like URL to access the web layer, Database creation date and time. It is very generic system works like configurations parameters.
Currently in 6.1 it seems that not many module are using this features, hope in the OpenERP 7.0 it can be used by many modules. You can see that currently it is used by only few values like database creating date and time, url of the web layer to access, and uuid mostly used by the edi module. There are other modules like webkit Report module (report_webkit) use to store the webkit path too.
self.pool.get('ir.config_parameter').get_param(cr, uid, 'web.base.url', \ default='http://localhost:8069', context=context
You can use this system to store many parameters, I am agree that, we have an alternatives to store the parameters in terms of .openerp_serverrc file, but we have to pass those parameters at the time of starting server. Using the new system parameters you can load default configuration using normal xml data load system.
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