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

  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

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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?

    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?

    @ Lewis
    To clarify this situation of launcher v Make Link I did some researching, and found an interesting document that confirmed what you had said:

    http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-cre...10oneiric.html

    Apparently, in versions prior to 11.10 ubuntu did have a Rclick Make Launcher (shortcut), but in 11.10 this was dropped in favour of Make Link.

    This seemed like a very good conclusion to the thread, seeming to vindicate both our positions - for myself at least to the extent that Rclick to make a shortcut/launcher had been considered useful.
    Why no longer, I really don't know.

    But at least it offered the opportunity of changing thread status to solved.

    However, I figured it only right to check out the file size question.

    For this I had to install Krusader - a serious File Manager that I have used before, that is capable of reporting file sizes accurately.

    This cleared away the fog, and enabled a much better understanding of what is happening with Make Link.

    What it showed is worthy of note:

    Link to AAA-test ______-- 29Kb
    Link to AAA-test~ ______ 55.3 Kb
    AAA-test _____________- 56.3Kb
    AAA-test~ __________---- 44.3Kb (the bakup is no longer updated)

    Procedure:
    1. 'AAA-test' was created and then modified, producing 'AAA-test~' bakup.
    2. 'Link to AAA-test' was created, producing Link to AAA-test~ bakup.
    3. 'Link to AAA-test' was modified.

    Conclusion:
    So now, the bakup file for 'AAA-test' is in fact 'Link to AAA-test~'.

    Not a great situation for alphabetical sorting.
    But worse, because the named bakup file 'AAA-test~' is now no longer updated.

    It's a time bomb becoming hopelessly out of date, yet it is sat there being reported as the bakup to AAA-test.

    For people who use icon view, and alphabetical sorting, the user can confidently see AAA-test has its bakup sat there beside it (no sizes in icon view).

    Yet it's not a bakup.

    Clearly this is how 'Make Link' is meant to work.

    However, what it does (in effect) is populate the hardisk with bakup files that are not bakup files, in amongst fully functioning bakup files.

    All this from a user friendly Rclick menu.

    It's a cautionary tale, and makes one wonder why 'a simple link to launch a file' has not been offered.

    Perhaps after all, 'Make Link' does require a 'bug fix'.
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    Re: Is 'Make Link' a 'FAIL' awaiting a bug-fix?

    // Edit: see post #12

    // Edit:
    // safe to ignore, you're already further than I am

    Running Ubuntu 10.04, I can NOT confirm this. In nautilus, links created using the command line (ln -s) as well as a link created using 'make link' correctly reflect the size of the file that the link points to (I need to press <F5> to refresh the links but the original file is immediately updated).

    Command line is another story; links are fixed size. Those created on the command line are 7 bytes, those created using 'make link' are 22 bytes.

    Conclusion; in 10.04, Nautilus follows the link and gives the size of the target.
    Last edited by Wim Sturkenboom; October 16th, 2012 at 03:35 PM.
    If you don't make backups of your important data, your data is obviously not important to you.

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

    I admit it's all a bit convoluted. The problem, you probably realize now, stems from the fact that the backup function is an Application feature, not an OS feature. Apps can't track how files are linked and if they are being modified from another location, let alone another program. In the end, they can't garantee that a backup always corresponds to the previous version. It's a poor man's version control system. Git and CVS are sophisticated Linux file versioning systems but personally I just use Dropbox to keep backups of file versions for my important documents.

    What you really need is launchers. In my defence, I use Xfce so I didn't know launchers could no longer be created in Unity world. In Xfce, you can create symbolic links on the desktop but also Application Launchers (e.g. gimp /home/user/diagram.tif) and URL Links (e.g. file:///home/user/document.odt). It's very convenient, perhaps you should give it a try
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