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Re: symlinks

On Sat, Nov 10, 2001 at 11:38:38PM -0500, Christopher Faylor wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 10, 2001 at 11:29:09PM -0500, Charles Wilson wrote:
> >Robert Collins wrote:
> >
> >>When extracting tarballs, should setup create 'native' symlinks or magic
> >>cookie symlinks?
> >
> >I thought the magic cookie (!<symlink>target) symlinks were deprecated. 
> >Currently, "ln -s" makes "special" .lnk shortcuts; I think setup should do 
> >the same -- there should be no difference between the following scenarios:
> They're not exactly deprecated.  I think Corinna has had second thoughts
> about the current method, actually.  Or, maybe she just didn't like
> having cygwin interpret native Windows .lnk files.

Actually I loved Cygwin interpret native Windows shortcuts as symlinks...
it just didn't work well for most people.  One problem was that tar
didn't store these shortcuts as simple files in the tar archive but as
symlink.  Unpacking these archives then results in Cygwin creating Cygwin
shortcuts.  Any extra information in these shortcuts is lost, icon,
comments, shortcut key, etc.  For that reason I commented out the source
in shortcut.c which recognizes and interprets native Windows shortcuts.

> On Sat, Nov 10, 2001 at 11:50:26PM -0500, Charles Wilson wrote:
> >Christopher Faylor wrote:
> >However, I agree that cygwin shouldn't try to interpret "normal" windows 
> >.lnk files -- but I thought Corinna put heuristics in so that cygwin 
> >wouldn't do that.
> Yes, she did.  I just remember her talking (as in on the phone) about
> this and wondering if the .lnk files were really a good idea after all.

Yeah, I really loved the way Cygwin interpreted native Windows shortcuts
as symlinks.  Unfortunately the crowd is using Cygwin for witchcraft and
wizardry... backing up native Windows shortcuts... and they really
wanted them restored the way they were before!  So when we had that talk
once, I was under the impression that the whole shortcut stuff has
become useless somehow.  Of course it isn't useless since it's really
still nice to have Cygwin symlinks which are also recognized by _some_
Windows apps, at least Explorer.  And less problems using these shortcut
symlinks on Samba drives is another plus.

> > On Sun, Nov 11, 2001 at 03:44:57PM +1100, Robert Collins wrote:
> > >From: "Christopher Faylor" <>
> > >Actually it won't - we already create .lnk files for the start menu.
> (It
> > >was aiming to reduce that overhead that caused my question.
> >
> > AFAIK, it isn't creating cygwin links.  It's creating Windows lnk
> files,
> > isn't it?
> I had a look at Corinnna's .lnk code in cygwin, and they "ain't that
> different".

Right.  And the code to create and to interpret them is really tiny,
IMO.  Actually I think it's a good idea to create shortcut symlinks
instead of magic cookie symlinks in setup.exe.  There's just the
typical `what to do on the initial installation' problem.  There's
far and wide no CYGWIN environment variable so how should setup
know what the user wants?  Actually... I'm thinking that most `first
time install' users doesn't even know what they want for several
reasons (how many people really know or care for the difference of
these two sorts of symlinks?)  Considering this I'm thinking we
should use shortcut symlinks since they are more transparent to the
default cygwin mailing list user.  You can clicky-clicky on them
and they do actually contain something useful while doing that with
a magic cookie symlink just opens the mysterious "Open With" dialog.


Corinna Vinschen                  Please, send mails regarding Cygwin to
Cygwin Developer                      
Red Hat, Inc.

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