Top Ten Mac OS X Tips for Unix Geeks
Subject:   Aliases & Links
Date:   2002-10-28 15:38:42
From:   anonymous2
Your item on these doesn't really explain the point of aliases - on the face of it one might wonder why one would want to use them when Symbolic links appear to work everywhere that an alias works, but aliases don't work in the bsd environment.

The point is that aliases keep working when the file that they point to gets moved or renamed. They are also smart enough to (attempt to) mount an offline volume if their target file is on it. They have been around in the MacOS world for some time, and have proved to be very useful!

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  • Aliases & Links
    2007-05-16 16:05:28  johnrussell13 [View]

    There are also things about how certain applications handle symlinks (created via the 'ln' command) that a UNIX user might find unintuitive.

    For example, Photoshop recognizes when it sees files that are really symlinks and will open and save to them OK, but will not let you assign keywords to them, and won't open them as part of a batch process.

    I also encountered at least one picture viewer that, when asked to delete a file that was a symlink, would follow the link and delete the original file. In normal UNIX usage, you don't need to worry when deleting any file that is actually a symlink, the original file remains untouched.