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Re: Symbolic Links on Windows Platform

From: Mark Parker <mark_at_msdhub.com>
Date: 2005-01-19 23:00:36 CET

Scott Hughes wrote:
> What would be even more interesting is if SVN treated symlinks in a platform
> independent way. At checkout time, the cli could use junction points on
> winxp/2003, ln-links on unices, or windows shortcuts on older non-ntfs
> machines. Granted the mapping isn't complete between those three, but the
> intersection is useful enough for me (and I assume a lot of other apps that
> are sharing common resources amongst many projects, ala VisualSourceSafe's
> sharing feature).

I believe (if I remember correctly from the last time this was
discussed) that junctions on NTFS are more like hardlinks in the *nix
world, and that .lnk files (shortcuts) are nothing like either (they're
just a data file interpreted by the Windows shell, unrelated in any way
to the filesystem) and not portable between systems. Even that, though,
is not truly correct: NTFS junctions can only point to things on the
same partition (I could be a bit off on that, but there's some such
limitation).

Every time this is brought up, the issue just kinda falls out of the
conciousness of the users/devs because of the fact that a) no matter how
you slice it, NTFS just doesn't have symlinks (not to mention FAT32),
and b) externals are here today and work well.

I think what you'd REALLY rather have is symlinks in the svn filesystem,
i.e. a way to make one node show up as a child of an arbitrary other
node in the repository. Then you wouldn't need the client filesystem to
implement symlinks. That has it's own set of problems, but it's how VSS
does it.

Mark

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Received on Wed Jan 19 23:09:57 2005

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