Symlinks support status?

Micah Cowan micah at
Mon Nov 5 15:43:24 CST 2007

Hash: SHA256

Dov Feldstern wrote:
> Matt Mackall wrote:
>> 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.
> Err, I beg to differ about the "get by just fine without them" part. I 
> hate every minute that I have to, unfortunately, work on Windows --- 
> although arguably, symlinks is only a minor --- though not negligible 
> --- factor in that... ;)
> Seriously, though, I don't think that you need to take such a grudging 
> view of the symlinks support you've added. It's a nice feature to have, 
> and I, at least, thank you for it!

As do I.

I do think, though, that it is reasonable to expect that users that
would like to store symlinks in a repository should only rely on that
being meaningful on platforms that have proper support for symlinks.

I also think that it is unreasonable to expect Mercurial to perform some
sort of limping emulation of symlinks, for systems that lack them.

There are probably a lot of ways to approach this, probably none of
which are particularly "right"; to my mind, this makes it a prime
candidate for a third-party plugin. :)

- --
Micah J. Cowan
Programmer, musician, typesetting enthusiast, gamer...

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