A challenging problem involving symbolic links.


 
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# 1  
Old 03-23-2008
A challenging problem involving symbolic links.

Hello,

I'm working on an application that bridges together several applications involved in creating a video workflow for editing with digital cinema cameras. The main platform is MacOSX.

Because of the nature of some of the utilities for working with this video footage I must spoof filenames by using symbolic links to essentially rename files. This hack works great most of the time, but on some systems (possibly Leopard systems) it runs into problems, I've isolated them into two:

In some situations, a symbolically linked file won't be recognized by a program, and won't appear in the softwares non-cocoa file selector. But other times it does. A system reboot will often remedy the problem, but I seek a way to check for this for users of my bridge.

The second is sometimes the program will load a symbolic link, but it will refer to it by a /Volume path only. So for example it will refer to the path to the symbolic link as /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/Username/Desktop etc. instead of /Users/Username/Desktop ... etc. Again, only in some situation not in all. (I believe mostly on Leopard, but I'm not certain yet)

Looking to gain a deeper understanding of how symbolic links are processed by the system. Thanks in advance for any insights.

IBloom
# 2  
Old 03-24-2008
As a guess, your program is calling lstat() on the filename, under some cirumstances. This is a way to see if the file is a link.
By definition symbolic links should work, but some developer is not playing fair. Try reading the source of the app that fails.

Possibly to prevent something like what you are trying to do.

Last edited by jim mcnamara; 03-24-2008 at 08:18 AM..
# 3  
Old 03-24-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim mcnamara
As a guess, your program is calling lstat() on the filename, under some cirumstances. This is a way to see if the file is a link.
By definition symbolic links should work, but some developer is not playing fair. Try reading the source of the app that fails.

Possibly to prevent something like what you are trying to do.
I don't think it's intentional. And it only happens on some systems, but all running the same version of the same software.

The plot thickens as in some cases the program sees the path as /
Volumes/Macintosh HD/Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/Username/Desktop..
Can't figure it out, its making a loop around the mount point or something.
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