Hard links can’t be readily distinguished by macOS or the Finder, and can lead to strange anomalies, as they’re seen as additional files, not links.
So resolving an Alias doesn’t always update data in the Alias file, even though it returns the correct path when possible. This is becoming a mess.
Links – hard links, symlinks, and Finder Aliases – are the most complex and confusing of simple concepts in computing. Do they get any better after research?
It’s all too easy to change the information in a Finder Alias when you’re inspecting it. Here’s how to avoid that, and a new version of Precize to help.
Diagram summarising how Finder Aliases work, including their resolution. And how to confuse QuickLook thumbnails.
Finder Aliases can update their path information when they are resolved. Also some differences between Aliases and Bookmarks.
Details of some of the information stored inside Bookmarks and Finder aliases, and a new version of Precize to show you that info.
How to make different types of copy/clone/link/alias in the Finder and command line, their properties and uses, summarised in two table.
If you thought the first article was lightweight fun, here’s more about links/aliases to folders, behaviour in apps, iCloud, and Bookmarks.
Mojave has 5 different types of copy/clone/alias/link, some of which can appear to behave oddly. Here they are, fully explained.