Symlinks support status?

Douglas Philips dgou at
Mon Nov 5 07:10:58 CST 2007

On 2007 Nov 4, at 3:48 PM, Dov Feldstern wrote:
> My idea for handling this is for a symlink to be replaced in the  
> working
> directory by an actual copy of the linked-to file/directory. Then it
> "looks" the same as long as changes are not made to any of the copies.

Ugh. Having read your original message again, I think the problem is  
with a build environment based on symlinks being ported to a platform  
where they aren't available.

I do not think this is a "problem" with hg (or git or darcs or  
subversion or ...).

> (This is part of the reason why I think that this kind of symlink
> support belongs in a version control system.) As a first stage,  
> perhaps
> it would just be enough to require the user to manually move all the
> changes to only a single copy.

In other words a version control system with-in a version control  
system. Ugh^2.

Sorry, Dov, but I think you are asking a version control system to  
solve an operating system problem (file system symlink support).  It  
seems akin to asking why a VCS doesn't convert JPGs to Windows BMPs,  
shell scripts to .BAT files, etc.

Having worked at a company where we built products on multiple  
platforms, symlinks were not the right solution for our build  
infrastructure. Multiplatform builds can be done, and cleanly,  
without symlinks, as can builds using components provided by other  
parties. Fixing hg (or/git/darcs/etc.) because someone is stuck with  
a platform-dependent build process seems wrong.


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