Re: how does gconftool-2 work ?
It is confusing if you are expecting actual files, but the gconf tool uses the / character to designate branches in the configuration key database heirarchy. The arguments to gconftool are not actual file names, but are used to locate a specific key in the gconf database. Conceptually it is somewhat like a filesystem, with directories and subdirectories but these keys are all stored in a single database, not separate files.
There are no dumb questions, just dumb answers.