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Prevent update failures due to moved Apple apps System
I like to keep my Applications folder nicely organised, but software updates go crazy if you move Apple apps. The 10.2.1 update reportedly kills if you've moved it. Here is a one off solution to avoid problems in the future:
  1. Create a new folder /Applications -> Apple Apps
  2. Select all your Apple apps, and command-option-drag them into that folder to create aliases.
  3. Use a third party utility such as SNAX or iChange X to make the original apps invisible, or use the command line:
     % /Developer/Tools/SetFile -a V /path/to/file
Now anyone using your computer can move any 'application' wherever they want, because they will only be moving the alias, whilst the originals stay safely hidden in the same place.

[Editor's note: After getting burned by this in a couple of the earlier updates, I've decided I just don't touch the Apple apps. I move other stuff to larger volumes, but I leave Apple's stuff where it sits. This looks like a unique solution which I may experiment with just from a "visually clean" perspective.]
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Don't organize
Authored by: chabig on Sep 20, '02 12:05:04PM

I don't try to "organize" any apps in /Applications. Rather, just make aliases of the applications and organize those to your hearts content. I recommend keeping the organized aliases in your home directory or your Favorites directory.


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Keep Apple apps folder separate
Authored by: jolinwarren on Sep 20, '02 01:21:56PM

I get very annoyed at Apple trying to force me to have a cluttered applications folder. What I do is create a "My Applications" and a "Utilities" folder in the root of my hard drives. In these folders, I put whatever I want, organised how I want. I then rename the "Applications" folder to be called "Apple Applications" and drop it into my "My Applications" folder. I do a similar thing with the "Utilities" folder inside "Apple Applications". Whenever I'm going to do a system update, all I have to do is to change the Utilities folder name back and drop it into "Apple Applications". Then I move "Apple Applications" into the root of my hard drive and rename it to "Applications". It actually sounds more complicated than it is, and I find it to be a good way to allow me my own organisation.

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I wrote an app that does this for you.
Authored by: serversurfer on Sep 20, '02 01:26:39PM
You can download it here. Discussion can be found here.

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Authored by: hangon on Sep 20, '02 05:43:23PM

my application folder is a mess but i do not give a @&#* about that because i use this wonderful app called LAUNCHBAR!!!!!

the best osx App ever

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Fixing a dodgy update
Authored by: stuartbryson on Sep 20, '02 09:31:53PM

I move all my apps into sub folders of /Applications eg /Applications/Internet/

If I run an Apple update it is unlikely that I will put the apps in the right spot. It doesn't matter though because you can fix it after. Usually an update only updates some of the bundle contents. For example Mail:

/Applications/Internet/Mail is where I store my app. After running the update I had a folder /Applications/Mail/. I right-clicked both of these and selected show contents. Then I copied each file from the /Applications/Mail/ folder into the /Applications/Internet/Mail folder. Note that you can't copy across folders at a time because you will delete files that the update does not have, so you must open each folder and just copy across the individual files into their relative location.

After this, your app will be up to date.


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Fixing a dodgy update
Authored by: Thom on Sep 21, '02 02:18:02AM

Yeah, I have done this too -- most noticeably when trying to get old OS X Servers from 10.1.2 to 10.1.5, or sometimes just when the software update dies halfway through but then claims there's no new updates because it already wrote the new version string in a plist somewhere, or something. Grr, I hate that kind of thing. If OS X's update process has failed on me a number of times like that, I feel entitlted to wish that it'd save a cumulative 'undo' in case it bombs halfway through. Caveat Emptor, I guess...?

But remember: you can't always drag and drop those files where they belong. So you're probably better off doing it from the Terminal. There, you can see who owns them, what the perms are supposed to be, and so forth.

Also, bear in mind that if you use Terminal, some files you'll need to copy to the proper place are going to have resource forks, so use /Developer/Tools/CpMac, etc, or ditto -rsrc or whatever depending on the situation at hand. And if something's owned by root but still needs updating, then just use sudo to be root temporarily to make the command work.

All in all, I like the whole alias to invisible files idea proposed here. It's a very good idea and worth thinking about as preventative maintenance, because when those folders show up next time you're expecting to see brand new apps, you'll kick yourself.

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Fixing a dodgy update
Authored by: serversurfer on Sep 21, '02 02:27:41PM
Using Doppelganger is much simpler. ;)

But if you insist on doing it the hard way, you should at least use
to do your "dirty work". :)

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Application organisation
Authored by: McDriver on Sep 21, '02 11:16:48AM

In OS9 and earlier the actual location of applications and files on the harddrive was a no concern for the user because the icon representing any file was just an alias pointing to the file. That means you could move the alias aroud as you pleased and nothing actually moved on your drive, That is why you should use the same procedure in osx by making an alias and store it whereever you want. ie organize your alias instead of your applications. Any other way is just plain wrong.

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Applications and
Authored by: tomem on Sep 21, '02 12:20:19PM

Kind of an anal group, aren't we? I don't see much point in aliasing everything, except for Dock or Favorites purposes. Anyone using your machine should be in their own account and will only have admin priviledges if you've granted them.

My solution was just to commandeer the "Applications (OS9)" folder for my own use, renaming it as I desired (Appls), and organizing it as I see fit. I keep a "Utils" folder in there for my OS9 and non-Apple OSX utilities.

I would prefer that Apple had followed its earlier practice of putting their stuff in an "Apple Extras" folder, but since they did not, it is far easier to keep hands off "Applications" and let them manage that area, than to try to remember what is mine and what is theirs. Likewise for the System and system level Library. We just have to learn that the only place that "anything goes" is in the home directories, and even there one must be careful about Library files.

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I have to disagree completely with this
Authored by: Palijn on Sep 21, '02 03:02:20PM

As many Unix admins know it for years, the most you can separate your data on different partitions/disks, the safer you are in the event of a system failure or something.

The easy way to do this without messing up users with totally indecent paths (like "don't look at your usual /usr/local/bin, it's now /s/dev1/part1/fs3/nolocal/nonfs/bin" !) is by using SYMBOLIC LINKS .
That way, when you navigate through your usual path, you end up finding what you've expected to.

Fortunately, Apple's HFS+ supports symbolic links. Mac OS X supports both aliases (pre-OS X style) and symbolic links : fine!

UNfortunately, the actual Software Update application doesn't behave smoothly, and decides that if it encounters a symbolic link , it must be destroyed and replaced by a plain folder.

This leads to the situation where, for the sake of ONE set of apps (software update, installer) we, as users and owner of our boxes, cannot properly administer them without headaches.

This, IMHO, has to be filed as a bug, and I won't adapt myself around this type of ugly things. Because it's easy to fix.
If you do want to keep all your stuff in a directory controlled by the maker of your OS, then please go to Windows. Everything is messy under C:\Windows and you don't have the right to touch it or the system will fail.
I would'nt buy Apple if they go this way backwards...

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