[OS X TeX] My ! has disappeared in Times

Peter Dyballa Peter_Dyballa at Web.DE
Thu Apr 27 07:32:23 EDT 2006

Am 27.04.2006 um 12:28 schrieb Bruno Voisin:

> Some time ago there has been a thread on the dangers of using  
> absolute paths in symlinks <http://thread.gmane.org/ 
> gmane.comp.tex.macosx/5898/focus=5898>. Quoting Martin Costabel:
>> (I learned this from a painful experience where I deleted a 3.5GB / 
>> sw_recent directory on an unused FireWire disk I hadn't looked at  
>> for a while; turned out this was a symlink to /sw, so in reality I  
>> deleted the complete Fink installation on my local Powerbook.)
> (the symlink on the FireWire drive pointed to /sw, which referred  
> to the /sw directory on the local hard drive).

The same effect a "relative symlink" would also allow ... The danger  
that symlinks to absolute pathnames get invalid when the file system  
is re-organised, also exists with relative pathnames, when they point  
to an external area that is re-organised, or when they point to  
outside the area in which they reside that is moved to somewhere else  
right now.

IMO hard links are a good choice in such situations: since the data  
blocks that make a file on disk are not moved on it, they are always  
valid. On a regular UFS volume they do not consume any extra disk  
space, while a symlink consumes as many bytes as its name is long,  
i.e. at least one disk block (although it can be put into the empty  
"spare" part of a not completely used disk block of some other file).

The disadvantage of hard links is that one cannot see directly the  
connection to the other link(s), and that one such link can survive  
while the others are already deleted ... debris is left.



   It's not the valleys in life I dread so much as the dips.
-- Garfield

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