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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases System 10.5
The first time I open /users/shared using an alias, the folder comes up with a sidebar, even though I've repeatedly set it to turn off the sidebar. Strangely, the animation appears to be opening the folder twice. If I then close the folder and re-open it, it shows up without the sidebar, just as I've configured it in previous sessions. From then on, every time I open the alias, it comes up without the sidebar.

But if I log out and back in, I get the strange first-time behavior again, with a double-animation and a sidebar. If I use the Finder's Go -> Go to Folder menu for the first access, I can get to the target folder without the double-animation and without the sidebar. But the first time I use the alias, it shows the double-animation and the sidebar, so it really appears to be related to the alias. (I've tried re-creating the alias and even tinkering with it's extended attributes.)

I've done four fresh installs of Leopard (exploring security settings), and I've seen this behavior every time, so I'm pretty sure it's an as-delivered bug. I'm running on a PowerPC iMac; this may or may not happen on the Intel Macs.

To avoid this GUI display problem, I've found that I can make Unix symbolic links instead of aliases. For example, to create what appears to be an alias to /Users/Shared on the Desktop, you can type the following command in Terminal:
$ ln -s /Users/Shared ~/Desktop/Shared
This seems to reliably create a link that respects your view settings, at the expense of a little less use of the GUI. It's hard to believe Apple's own alias technology is messed up, and good old Unix links work better. It would seem they've forgotten the adage "'tis a gift to be simple."
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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases | 11 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases
Authored by: Phoenix1701 on Aug 12, '08 07:45:31AM
The -psn argument stands not for "position", but rather for "process serial number". Here's a well-informed post on MacRumors discussing this argument and why it's important:

http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-69397/t-207344.html

Needless to say, it's probably a good idea to pass this along. :)

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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases
Authored by: Phoenix1701 on Aug 12, '08 07:48:09AM

Oops! Right idea, wrong post. Disregard.



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"Old" symlinks? Aliases are so old they are rancid...
Authored by: rcfa on Aug 12, '08 11:15:05AM

Obviously symlinks work better. Symlinks are the real thing, aliases are some strange Mac OS Classic left-overs.

Symlinks are handled at the file system level, i.e. they are transparent to all apps, aliases must be resolved at the application level.

The only thing that breaks symlinks is Apple's brain-damaged preferences scheme where Apple writes all paths containing symlinks EXPANDED instead of keeping the logical path intact, which would be required for symlinks to do their work properly, i.e. allowing the user to point the symlink elsewhere and things continuing to work.

example: you move your home folder to another drive, thus /Users/me points to /Volumes/USBStick/me and later you decide to move me from /Volumes/USBStick/me to /Volumes/SuperLargeHD/me and change the symlink accordingly, then lots of Apple software will break because it expands e.g. something like /Users/me/Library/Mail into /Volumes/USBStick/me/Library/Mail which will no longer be found. If Apple wouldn't expand paths, then it would store in Preferences /Users/me/Library/Mail which would then be expanded as needed when the file/folder is accessed.

99% of issues with symlinks are due to this IMO faulty behavior in Apple's preferences system. Symlinks are well superior to aliases, because they behave in a very simple and predictable way and don't need any code at the application level to deal with them.



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"Old" symlinks? Aliases are so old they are rancid...
Authored by: tatilsever on Aug 12, '08 11:59:24AM

I also preferred to use symbolic links when I first switched to Mac, as I was already familiar with them from my UNIX or Linux experience. I don't know how exactly aliases work, but I noticed that aliases keep track of the destination, so for example if I move the destination folder, I don't have to manually update the symbolic link. That is a big advantage.



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"Old" symlinks? Aliases are so old they are rancid...
Authored by: osxpounder on Aug 14, '08 08:16:45PM

I like it when aliases work even after I've moved the destination folder, but it doesn't always happen, so I've gotten out of the habit of trusting it. I don't why it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.



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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases
Authored by: maaac on Aug 12, '08 11:30:07AM

Thank you for providing a solution for the described misbehaviour of the Finder with aliases. This is annoying me for so long.
Didn't know there is a difference between an alias and a symbolic link, thought it's the same...



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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases
Authored by: hobbster on Aug 12, '08 02:19:29PM

I occasionally see that very same behavior when double-clicking a folder to open it on a couple of Leopard machines. Indeed there are two animations of the window opening to what appears to be a default size and location (it's always the same). It does at least open only one window though. I simply close the window with a quick command-w keystroke and reopen it. Then it opens to its correctly saved size and location.

Thing is, I hadn't noticed that it happens only with folder aliases, but I suspect that to be true in my case also. I think I'll switch to symlinks. I know there's a contextual menu item that'll make symlinks but I don't seem to have it installed at the moment. Not that I'm overly averse to using Terminal -- I just prefer the GUI because as a graphic artist my hand's already on the mouse 90% of the time.



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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases
Authored by: Cantus on Aug 12, '08 02:45:11PM

I reported this bug to Apple many months ago. I have an Intel Mac, so it must not be related to the processor.



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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases
Authored by: simsamsep on Aug 12, '08 02:51:32PM

I also noticed this annoying behavior. It happens only when a folder is opened the first time after the Finder was restarted and only when it is opened by double-clicking an alias of that folder. It does not happen when the alias is opened using "Open" from the File menu, or opened with Command-O or opened with "Open" in the contextual menu. The problem is no doubt a bug in the Leopard Finder. We should not need to use a workaround with symlinks, the bug should be fixed.



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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases
Authored by: jdwurtz on Aug 12, '08 07:47:32PM

I concur with the folder alias problems reported here. Folder aliases consistently misbehave because after a Finder restart, when double-clicked, folder aliases open a folder with a 1) different size and 2) different location than the folder had when it was previously open. [Mac OS X 10.5.4 on late 2007 Intel iMac]

Not only that, it's worse. When a folder is already open in a window, I double-click an alias to that open folder and a second window opens for that same folder.  When I close the second window and double-click the same alias again, then the original window for the folder comes to the foreground (which is what should have happened in the first place).

These two bugs did not occur in Tiger.

I also reported these to Apple several months ago; no fix yet.

I think Apple should be grossly embarrassed that the Finder does not correctly perform basic folder open operations correctly!!!!!!! They broke this part of the Finder when going from Tiger to Leopard.




---
Jeff Wurtz



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10.5: Avoid strange GUI behavior with certain aliases
Authored by: bcarter5876 on Aug 13, '08 06:03:53AM

I'm glad someone else is seeing this and has a solution. I get this "double clutching" behavior consistently on my laptop (PPC) and my desktop machine at work (Intel). Oddly enough, I do not get it on my desktop machine at home (PPC).



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