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Couple of reasons.
Authored by: babbage on Apr 03, '02 03:48:41PM
First "open Internet Explorer" only works if you first type "cd /Applications".

Well I'll back off on that point then. I was told that OSX maintains a database of available applications, and that you can abbreviate the full "open /Applications/Internet Explorer.app" form to simply "open Internet Explorer" if you've opened the app through the GUI in the past. Testing this suggests otherwise though, so now I'm a little confused on that one.

Second, I don't know about you, but I find typing "open /Applications/BBedit/BBedit 6.1 Lite for OS X" a royal pain.

So don't type it then. if it's something you're going to do frequently, the dock isn't *that* painful to click on, or you can go ahead & set an alias for it. (Typing "iexplore" opens Internet Explorer for me, as that happens to be the name on Windows too.) Moreover, it's rare that I open *applications* in the first place -- much more frequently I'll just open a document [and tab completion helps you out here], and occasionally I'll override the default filetype bindings if I need to (say) open an imagage in an editor rather than a viewer. This doesn't come up much though -- ususally just opening raw documents works fine, is what I meant to do, and doesn't gain from any kind of aliasing. In my case at least.

As for portability - huh? You want aliases to be portable?

Uhh, yeah. That's the whole point. I have regular access to OSX and Solaris, and less frequently (once a week or so) use Debian Linux and Cygwin. I really, really like it when I don't have to develop new finger memory based on where I've just ssh'ed into. I really like being able to mask things like file locations by wrapping them into an alias that, maybe with some one time minor editing, allows the same command to work anywhere.

And as for using Library/init/tcsh - there is nothing sacred about using a 30 year old model for managing config files. One of the things I like about Darwin is the way it updates some of the useless baggage that other Unices are still saddled with.

I don't have a problem with that -- I'm delighted to be able to work on a Unix that isn't saddled with X11 as the only graphical interface -- but I still want to be able to transfer tools from one box to another as painlessly as I can. This means enforcing a degrree of standardization, and that sometimes means that "worse is better".

Even if the Libary/init/tcsh scheme is cleaner -- and I'll readily concede that it is -- the benefit for me is mostly lost if I can't transfer that elsewhere. Put the other way, if this scheme is 10% better than the alternative, but causes 15% more work on each other platform to get them to behave the same way, (thus 15% more work times however many other platforms I work with regularly), then in the end I lose by going with this scheme. Like I said originally, it's a nice idea but I still have yet to hear why it makes more sense to do things this way as opposed to the traditional way. I remain unconvinced.

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