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Aliases...
Authored by: Elektron on Dec 19, '02 06:57:07AM

... are just normal files with the "alias" flag set and an "alis" resource.

There is nothing fundamentally special about alias files, except the alias flag set. You can even store data in them, just that most apps choose to follow the alias instead of accessing the alias itself.

Symlinks, on the other hand, are special files. You can't read and write data to them. They just store a path.


The default MacOS calls access the file itself. You must "decide" to follow aliases.
The default UNIX calls access the file pointed to. You must "decide" to access the symlink (and accessing symlinks like they were normal files would just produce errors anyways).

Most (carbon) programs decide to follow aliases (symlinks) to make it easy for the user; e.g. putting my Chimera cache on another partition. I don't know how cocoa programs usually work.


To be accurate, symlinks on an HFS+ system are just type "slnk" creator "rhap" files (with the alias flag set), with the path stored in the data fork.

But to follow aliases on a command line would require the kernel to interpret the "alis" data and stuff. And then the path would change with the target.



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Palm and iCal aliases
Authored by: EricW on Jan 10, '03 06:09:44AM

I've used aliasing in OS X to 'trick' apps that demand a directory in specific locations to believe they're there while in fact I have them on another drive that's mirrored home and office via a firewire pocket drive.
Tried this with iCal and Address book but its not a hapening thing and am wondering if symbolic linking might be the answer.
Any ideas



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