Symlinks support status?

Matt Mackall mpm at
Mon Nov 5 15:12:30 CST 2007

On Mon, Nov 05, 2007 at 10:32:22PM +0200, Dov Feldstern wrote:
> Bryan O'Sullivan wrote:
> > Dov Feldstern wrote:
> > 
> >> The idea is basically to have the working directory appear --- to all 
> >> the usual tools (compiler, editor, etc.) --- as it would on a 
> >> symlink-supporting system, i.e., the contents of the symlinks look like 
> >> the contents of the linked-to files.
> > 
> > Unfortunately, that's both impossible and completely wrong.
> > 
> > 	<b
> Would you care to elaborate? I don't entirely agree on either count... :)

I suppose I'll chime in now..

While we could probably do something like this, it seems like WAY too
much trouble. So I'd downgrade impossible to impractical.

And it really strikes me as an complex ugly hack, which makes it
fairly high up in the "wrong" scale as well.

Symlinks are nice, but by no means essential (as evidenced by the
numerous filesystems and operating systems that get by just fine
without them). Mercurial supports them (grudgingly) but there's no
reason a build environment can't get by without them either. Going to
Herculean lengths to emulate them (poorly) on systems where they're
not supported is not likely to happen.

To the person who proposed using Windows hardlinks: the semantic
differences are still too large. The same applies for shortcuts.

Mathematics is the supreme nostalgia of our time.

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