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Re: how to check in a symlink?

From: John Peacock <jpeacock_at_rowman.com>
Date: 2004-04-05 20:52:53 CEST

Stephen Warren wrote:

>> From: John Peacock [mailto:jpeacock@rowman.com]
>> Jeff Bowden wrote:
>>> Exactly. Why would you want to check out a project with symlinks on a
>>> platform that doesn't support them anyway? Punting on Windows seems like
>>> the right solution.
>> Why would you use a symlink in the first place?
>> [HINT: it may be required to compile a sub-library]
> No sub-library itself is ever going to require symlinks to compile on
> Windows, since Windows doesn't support links.

Pay attention here: we are talking about cross-platform issues! ;)

One primary reason that symlinks are used is to have a shared file in multiple
locations in the source tree. Any application originally developed on a
platform which supports that mode wants to use a symlink, so that the files are
always in sync (since they are just a reference to the real file).

Since Windows doesn't support symlinks, the only way to handle it is to make a
copy (possibly readonly), when trying to port that application to Windows. While
it is true that no Windows-target application will ever use symlinks, the entire
world is not running Windows.

As it stands now, no platform gets to use symlinks directly out of the
repository since it is currently impossible to support it on all platforms (in a
sane fashion).


John Peacock
Director of Information Research and Technology
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Boulevard
Suite H
Lanham, MD  20706
301-459-3366 x.5010
fax 301-429-5748
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Received on Mon Apr 5 20:53:59 2004

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