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Thread: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

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  1. #1
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    Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    This looks like a serious bug to me.
    Perhaps others could confirm?
    *********

    Has anybody tried to make a document link (typically I guess, to place on the desktop as a clickable icon)?

    Try this:

    Open Gedit - copy and paste a few bytes of text - save as 'AA-test' in your document dir.
    Open Nautilus and check your doc dir - yes it's there.

    Rclick it - 'make link'.

    What you now see is a new file called 'Link to AA-test ' - both are the same file size.

    Dclick the 'Link to' file and delete a couple of bytes (2 characters), and save.

    My sys is set to make bakups, so I now see:

    Link To AA-test~_____ 945bytes
    AA-test____________- 943bytes
    Link To AA-test______ 945bytes

    The above is clearly incorrect cos my bakup is called 'Link To'

    Now open 'AA-test' directly, and delete 2 more characters and save.
    I now see:

    AA-test____________- 941bytes
    Link To AA-test~_____ 945bytes
    AA-test~___________- 943bytes
    Link To AA-test______ 945bytes

    It seems conclusive that 'make Link' is not functioning correctly.
    Further tests can be made, eg. rename 'Link To' - 'Linq To'.
    When you load it in Gedt, top-left informs you are working on 'Linq To AA-test'.

    Apart from this being confusing...... it looks like instead of having a small link file, my doc, and my bakup doc......... I now have 4 full size docs wasting space on my HDisk.

    This is surely a bug no?

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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    I get the same results.
    It looks like it; that's weird.
    I've never seen that before, usually links are only a line of code like
    Code:
    gedit ~/doclocation
    and less than 1KB. I guess it is broken. Well, now you can easily back up single files! :3

  3. #3
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by ALinuxWindowsBalance View Post
    I get the same results.
    It looks like it; that's weird.
    Thanks for confirming that!
    I've just had a look at 'how to report a bug':

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs

    Wow....... I'm struggling with figuring out what to do.
    I tried ubuntu-bug but one is supposed to add the offending program name.

    Adding ubuntu, or make-link doesn't work cos they are not packages.

    Ah.......... okay.

    There is a direct link:

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+filebug?no-redirect=

    This should work
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    The sandpit mod cheesehead suggests that 'the orphaning of the linked file bakup' is a bug.
    IE. Rather than adding another version of a link creator........ the issue of the orphaned bakup file should be addressed.

    http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/30242/ (comments at bottom)

    He may be right.
    As Lewis said, once you get your head around the concept, the reporting of symlink size is understandable.

    He also suggests that I report a separate bug...... stating 'Make Link is behaving in an unexpected manner'.
    However that seems merely to create a parallel bug investigation about the same problem.

    I have posted mc4man's link code, and in the meantime I will log the orphaned bakup file as a bug.

    Here is the bug link:

    https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=686465
    Last edited by Ace.....; October 19th, 2012 at 02:34 PM.
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    This is all perfectly normal.

    1) If you execute ls -al <link> or du <link> in a terminal you will see that each link takes virtually no space. In contrast Nautilus (and Thunar) display a positive value corresponding to the original file (the target). I'm not 100% sure what is the reason behind this but I guess it's far more informative than returning the meaningless size of the link.

    2) If you edit a link inside gedit, the app thinks it's a real file (that the whole point of links) and uses the link's filename in its title. Perfectly normal.

    3) If you make modifications, file managers will report the new size on the target because they are constantly in tune with file system changes. They do not, however, reevaluate link information (which is inferred). Close the window and open a new one - or press F5 - and you will see the sizes match.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by LewisTM; October 15th, 2012 at 02:00 PM.
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    Thanks for replying Lewis.
    Obviously I'm gonna disagree big time with you on this one, but that's fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by LewisTM View Post

    This is all perfectly normal.

    1) If you execute ls -al <link> or du <link> in a terminal you will see that each link takes virtually no space. In contrast Nautilus (and Thunar) display a positive value corresponding to the original file (the target). I'm not 100% sure what is the reason behind this but I guess it's far more informative than returning the meaningless size of the link.

    2) If you edit a link inside gedit, the app thinks it's a real file (that the whole point of links) and uses the link's filename in its title. Perfectly normal.

    This is all perfectly normal.


    Perhaps normal but certainly not correct.


    1) If you execute ls -al <link> or du <link> in a terminal you will see that each link takes virtually no space. In contrast Nautilus (and Thunar) display a positive value corresponding to the original file (the target). I'm not 100% sure what is the reason behind this but I guess it's far more informative than returning the meaningless size of the link.

    I honestly can see no reason in purposefully mis-reporting the size of a file, AND since when did file size become meaningless?

    2) If you edit a link inside gedit, the app thinks it's a real file (that the whole point of links) and uses the link's filename in its title. Perfectly normal.

    No the above is a complete mis-understanding of what a link is and what it should do.

    If I place my link code (represented by an icon) onto my desktop.....
    ..... the one thing we can be certain of, is that when I Dclick that icon, I do not want to be editing a document called Link To ********.

    The fact that this is occurring, is proven by the auto creation of a bakup file, called Link To ********

    What I definitely want from my links, is that when I click them, they launch the document that I ask for.
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    We will agree to disagree. But be aware that you are disagreeing with a lot of other Linux users.

    1) File manager are there to help people find information about their files. I don't see how reporting a file size of 20 bytes for a link can be informative in any way. We could change it to '---' to make it non-applicable, it's just a link.

    2) Absolutely no true. Many people like to rename their links (file or directory) and work with that. I can make a link to /media/918290718937dh/Documents on my desktop and call it "Mom's files" and that's fine. The behavior you describe, you will get with a "Launcher" akin to a "Shortcut" in Windows. That will launch the desired application with the target file. Launchers are NOT links.

    3) An app is oblivious to whether the file it is working on is a link or a real file. It will happily make a backup of what it is currently working on, with the current file contents and name. This is fundamentally how Linux works.
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    Quote Originally Posted by LewisTM View Post
    We will agree to disagree. But be aware that you are disagreeing with a lot of other Linux users.

    1) File manager are there to help people find information about their files. I don't see how reporting a file size of 20 bytes for a link can be informative in any way. We could change it to '---' to make it non-applicable, it's just a link.

    2) Absolutely no true. Many people like to rename their links (file or directory) and work with that. I can make a link to /media/918290718937dh/Documents on my desktop and call it "Mom's files" and that's fine. The behavior you describe, you will get with a "Launcher" akin to a "Shortcut" in Windows. That will launch the desired application with the target file. Launchers are NOT links.

    3) An app is oblivious to whether the file it is working on is a link or a real file. It will happily make a backup of what it is currently working on, with the current file contents and name. This is fundamentally how Linux works.
    We will agree to disagree. But be aware that you are disagreeing with a lot of other Linux users.

    Yes absolutely..... this is not a pointless fight.
    What this is doing is highlighting an element of linux that is totally counter-intuitive, and misleading AND there is no reason why such issues cannot be tidied up in future releases eg.


    2) Absolutely no true. Many people like to rename their links (file or directory) and work with that. I can make a link to /media/918290718937dh/Documents on my desktop and call it "Mom's files" and that's fine. The behavior you describe, you will get with a "Launcher" akin to a "Shortcut" in Windows. That will launch the desired application with the target file. Launchers are NOT links.

    Intuitively, when we Rclick on a file and see the menu with an option to 'Make Link', the vast majority (just a guess) of people who begin to use ubuntu will assume this to be 'Make Shortcut' cos there is no menu command to 'Make Launcher' (I actually don't know how to do that).
    If we had a menu option 'Make Launcher' this would avoid the confusing situation below:


    3) An app is oblivious to whether the file it is working on is a link or a real file. It will happily make a backup of what it is currently working on, with the current file contents and name. This is fundamentally how Linux works.

    Yes clearly this how it works, but this doesn't mean that the way the command (Make Link) is offered, is 'well done'.
    We end up with 4 files.

    I have to presume that this is useful........ but all I want to do is stick a shortcut/launcher onto my desktop, so I can quickly pull up a doc that I need.

    This has been a normal part of gui desktops for decades now!
    "Choose the file - Rclick - make shortcut - stick it where you want".


    Sure that uses windows terminology.... but hey... everybody understands what I'm saying.
    AND
    Bear in mind...... the result of Make Link is so close in resemblance to Shortcut, and because it is offered in the same manner, one will automatically assume that this is what it is.

    Oh yes - File size reporting...... sure, we will agree to disagree cos to me 'reporting a file size' should mean 'reporting the file size'....... a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.

    Last edited by Ace.....; October 15th, 2012 at 03:41 PM.
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    My goodness..... that was quick.
    The bug has been fixed.

    Total time: around 1 week, from identification to a fix.
    Pretty impressive community this is.

    However, I actually don't understand what the fix is.
    Could somebody enlighten me

    Bug 686465 - Make Link orphans the backup file of the linked file

    I think it makes sense to follow symlinks by default when opening one, before launching the application. I now pushed a fix to git that does so, closing as fixed.
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    Wow!
    The fact that the bug was fixed for Nautilus 3.4.x and is tagged as major means that we might actually see it percolate to future Ubuntu maintenance updates.

    I don't know what the fix means either. Since it's a Nautilus fix, it won't affect how text editors behave. Maybe it reads the link and passes the target filename as the argument for opening a file? That would make it behave very much like a launcher. Some may like it, some may not. We shall see.
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