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10.4: A caution on the functionality of Burn Folders
Authored by: lar3ry on Sep 15, '05 03:52:24PM

What the original poster thought was happening (and is not really all that difficult to perform, actually) is what is called a "symlink farm."

There's a utility within the X11 build tree called "lndir." What this utility does is create a set of links to all the original files. In order to do this, it copies the directory structure (the directories aren't symbolic links), and then for each file within a given directory within the source tree, a symbolic link is made in the destination tree. (lndir has other options that allow it to exclude certain subdiretories or backup files, but that's not the point here).

The upshot is that it is quite feasible (and easy!) for Apple to implement this sort of functionality.

The BEST solution would be for the Finder to actually identify symlinks. That is, if a directory in a burn folder is actually a symbolic link to another directory, there should be some sort of mask on it... turn the folder green (might be a problem if the user is color blind), or put a tiny arrow on top of it (shades of Windows!)... and do the same sort of thing for files.

That way, people that are perusing a burn folder should be able to tell whether the files or directories that they are looking at are actual files that will disappear if they are deleted or just links to existing files.

(Extra points, Apple: If you adopt the "arrow" mask that Windows uses to denote symlinks, then also add a "broken arrow" mask that denotes broken links... symlinks to files that no longer exist!)

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Shadow arrows
Authored by: ktohg on Sep 15, '05 06:09:47PM

They do. all aliases have a nice unobtrusive black arrow in the lower left hand corner denoting an alias.

No broken arrow for broken aliases but finder makes it pretty blatantly clear that the original is not there when you attempt to open the alias.

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Shadow arrows
Authored by: eduo on Sep 16, '05 05:25:37AM

You're confusing Aliases with Links.

Aliases are OSX-specific (in the same way 'Shortcuts', or "lnk" files are exclusive of Windows).

Links are Unix-specific and are not the same as aliases. Symbolic links are small files pointing to the real files and the Finder currently doesn't interpret them in any way. When you see a link you see the actual endfile. And it's actually worrying because it applied the permissions of the containing folder, not of the actual end file.

A good example of link (not aliases!) farm is what iPhoto used (dunno if newer versions still do) to do when the same photo was in several albums or in CDs burned from within iPhoto. Photos showed as duplicates but were actually links.



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