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DiskJunction util

M

mazorj

#1
PC Magazine has come out with an interesting utility that taps in Vista's "symbolic links" (whatever they are).

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347491,00.asp

This is all new to me, and one knowledgeable commenter at the site is having some significant problems that the author has offered to investigate. But assuming that DiskJunction works or can be made to work as advertised, can anyone comment on symbolic link capabilities, what they might do for users that link files can't, and caveats for those who are entering new territory? (Note that while it displays Vista's symlinks, it won't let you delete them, just the ones that it creates.)

Links to technical articles are welcome, but so are well-formed summary comments and personal insights done in plain English by our resident experts.
 
R

Richard Urban

#2
Why don't you ask a specific question about links? Forget about this program for a while.

Expecting someone to go to another web site to read an article, and then buy (PC Mag sells all their utilities) the utility so they can learn it capabilities just to answer your generic question is a bit of a stretch - don't you think?

--

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP
Windows Desktop Experience


"mazorj" <mazorj@xxxxxx> wrote in message news:uYDgUSm4JHA.1424@xxxxxx

PC Magazine has come out with an interesting utility that taps in Vista's "symbolic links" (whatever they are).

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347491,00.asp

This is all new to me, and one knowledgeable commenter at the site is having some significant problems that the author has offered to investigate. But assuming that DiskJunction works or can be made to work as advertised, can anyone comment on symbolic link capabilities, what they might do for users that link files can't, and caveats for those who are entering new territory? (Note that while it displays Vista's symlinks, it won't let you delete them, just the ones that it creates.)

Links to technical articles are welcome, but so are well-formed summary comments and personal insights done in plain English by our resident experts.
 
M

mazorj

#3
No, I don't think it's a stretch. First, I did ask specific questions. Second, how do you know what questions you should be asking if it's all new to you? Third, there are some participants who do try to share their knowledge even when it's clear that the poster is in over his head and needs some schooling. I was just trying to draw on the group's collective expertise. If you know about symlinks then you don't even need to go to the article or buy the utility to contribute something for those of us for whom this is unexplored territory. And as to buying it "just to respond to me," how do you know that no one else already has that utility?

Furthermore, posting it here alerts users to the existence of symlinks and a utility that might be of benefit to them. MS is not the sole source of all knowledge and wisdom here.

"Richard Urban" <richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx> wrote in message news:exq%23qrm4JHA.1716@xxxxxx
Why don't you ask a specific question about links? Forget about this program for a while.

Expecting someone to go to another web site to read an article, and then buy (PC Mag sells all their utilities) the utility so they can learn it capabilities just to answer your generic question is a bit of a stretch - don't you think?

--

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP
Windows Desktop Experience


"mazorj" <mazorj@xxxxxx> wrote in message news:uYDgUSm4JHA.1424@xxxxxx

PC Magazine has come out with an interesting utility that taps in Vista's "symbolic links" (whatever they are).

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347491,00.asp

This is all new to me, and one knowledgeable commenter at the site is having some significant problems that the author has offered to investigate. But assuming that DiskJunction works or can be made to work as advertised, can anyone comment on symbolic link capabilities, what they might do for users that link files can't, and caveats for those who are entering new territory? (Note that while it displays Vista's symlinks, it won't let you delete them, just the ones that it creates.)

Links to technical articles are welcome, but so are well-formed summary comments and personal insights done in plain English by our resident experts.
 
R

Richard Urban

#4
http://discuss.pcmag.com/forums/1004422140/ShowPost.aspx

--

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP
Windows Desktop Experience


"mazorj" <mazorj@xxxxxx> wrote in message news:eqmogq54JHA.5048@xxxxxx
No, I don't think it's a stretch. First, I did ask specific questions. Second, how do you know what questions you should be asking if it's all new to you? Third, there are some participants who do try to share their knowledge even when it's clear that the poster is in over his head and needs some schooling. I was just trying to draw on the group's collective expertise. If you know about symlinks then you don't even need to go to the article or buy the utility to contribute something for those of us for whom this is unexplored territory. And as to buying it "just to respond to me," how do you know that no one else already has that utility?

Furthermore, posting it here alerts users to the existence of symlinks and a utility that might be of benefit to them. MS is not the sole source of all knowledge and wisdom here.

"Richard Urban" <richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx> wrote in message news:exq%23qrm4JHA.1716@xxxxxx
Why don't you ask a specific question about links? Forget about this program for a while.

Expecting someone to go to another web site to read an article, and then buy (PC Mag sells all their utilities) the utility so they can learn it capabilities just to answer your generic question is a bit of a stretch - don't you think?

--

Richard Urban
Microsoft MVP
Windows Desktop Experience


"mazorj" <mazorj@xxxxxx> wrote in message news:uYDgUSm4JHA.1424@xxxxxx

PC Magazine has come out with an interesting utility that taps in Vista's "symbolic links" (whatever they are).

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347491,00.asp

This is all new to me, and one knowledgeable commenter at the site is having some significant problems that the author has offered to investigate. But assuming that DiskJunction works or can be made to work as advertised, can anyone comment on symbolic link capabilities, what they might do for users that link files can't, and caveats for those who are entering new territory? (Note that while it displays Vista's symlinks, it won't let you delete them, just the ones that it creates.)

Links to technical articles are welcome, but so are well-formed summary comments and personal insights done in plain English by our resident experts.
 
P

Pavel A.

#5
Ok, I'll try to explain this in "user" terms...
Hard links and symbolic links are a traditional
feature of Unix & Linux. People familiar
with those operating systems know lots of practical
uses of links.

Windows does support both kinds of links, but only
on NTFS disks.
Windows legacy filesystem (varieries of FAT) do not support links.

So, users can expect that legacy software can break in various funny
ways when it encounters links.
For example, a program can check for a disk space on a wrong volume,
or, when asked to zip a subtree, will read several whole other disks
linked into this subtree. Not mentioning circular links :)
It will take some time until majority of Windows users get used to
links, and so will do all software vendors.

Regards,
-- pa

mazorj wrote:

>
> Thank you, but I already started reading the comments on the PCM page
> where DiskJunction is posted for downloading. I was able to glean some
> additional information from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/235128 but
> that, like most KB articles, is written for programmers, not end users.
> The 295 other KB hits searching on "symbolic link" also are intended for
> programmers solving specific problems with symlinks.
>
> So I do have some specific questions as an experienced user who is not a
> programmer:
>
> 1. Are there any categorical "no-no's" for creating symlinks that users
> should avoid?
>
> 2. In layman's terms, are there any standards or best practices for
> creating symlinks? Ditto for where they should be stored, or do they
> just exist as keys in the Registry?
>
> 3. Can user-created symlinks conflict with existing Vista symlinks? If
> so, what are some of the possible symptoms and consequences? How does
> Vista resolve them?
>
> 4. According to the KB article, symlinks are a way for Win32 programs to
> access devices by "symbolically linking" to their NT assigned objects.
> Does this mean that symlinks have no utility for Win64 programs? And
> can we assume that any program that automatically installs itself in the
> Program Files (x86) folder is a Win32 application?
>
> 5. Do Win32 programs automatically create their own symlinks as
> needed? If so, is there a way to find them stored in a file or in the
> Registry? (The reason being that there is no point in creating a
> duplicate symlink. Conversely, a program may be made more responsive or
> useful if you find that doesn't have a needed symlink.)
>
> 6. Am I asking in the wrong forum? This seems like the logical choice
> but I'll gladly repost in another if that's where I'm more likely to get
> informative responses.
>
> Again, all I'm trying to do here is elicit general information from any
> knowledgeable participants in the group.
>
>
> "Richard Urban" <richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx
> <mailto:richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx>> wrote in message
> news:eRxzCm64JHA.1716@xxxxxx
> http://discuss.pcmag.com/forums/1004422140/ShowPost.aspx
>
> --
>
> Richard Urban
> Microsoft MVP
> Windows Desktop Experience
>
>
>
> "mazorj" <mazorj@xxxxxx <mailto:mazorj@xxxxxx>> wrote
> in message news:eqmogq54JHA.5048@xxxxxx
> No, I don't think it's a stretch. First, I did ask specific
> questions. Second, how do you know what questions you should be
> asking if it's all new to you? Third, there are some
> participants who do try to share their knowledge even when it's
> clear that the poster is in over his head and needs some
> schooling. I was just trying to draw on the group's collective
> expertise. If you know about symlinks then you don't even need
> to go to the article or buy the utility to contribute something
> for those of us for whom this is unexplored territory. And as
> to buying it "just to respond to me," how do you know that no
> one else already has that utility?
>
> Furthermore, posting it here alerts users to the existence of
> symlinks and a utility that might be of benefit to them. MS is
> not the sole source of all knowledge and wisdom here.
>
>
> "Richard Urban" <richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx
> <mailto:richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx>> wrote in
> message news:exq%23qrm4JHA.1716@xxxxxx
> Why don't you ask a specific question about links? Forget
> about this program for a while.
>
> Expecting someone to go to another web site to read an
> article, and then buy (PC Mag sells all their utilities) the
> utility so they can learn it capabilities just to answer
> your generic question is a bit of a stretch - don't you think?
>
> --
>
> Richard Urban
> Microsoft MVP
> Windows Desktop Experience
>
>
>
> "mazorj" <mazorj@xxxxxx
> <mailto:mazorj@xxxxxx>> wrote in message
> news:uYDgUSm4JHA.1424@xxxxxx
>
> PC Magazine has come out with an interesting utility
> that taps in Vista's "symbolic links" (whatever they are).
>
> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347491,00.asp
>
> This is all new to me, and one knowledgeable commenter
> at the site is having some significant problems that the
> author has offered to investigate. But assuming that
> DiskJunction works or can be made to work as advertised,
> can anyone comment on symbolic link capabilities,
> what they might do for users that link files can't, and
> caveats for those who are entering new territory? (Note
> that while i t displays Vista's symlinks, it won't let
> you delete them, just the ones that it creates.)
>
> Links to technical articles are welcome, but so are
> well-formed summary comments and personal insights done
> in plain English by our resident experts.
>
 
M

mazorj

#6
Thanks. I still have a ways to go in understanding how and why (or
how not/why not) I would use symlinks but that's the kind of specific
information I am looking for.

"Pavel A." <pavel_a@xxxxxx> wrote in message
news:ed3T8FR5JHA.1420@xxxxxx

> Ok, I'll try to explain this in "user" terms...
> Hard links and symbolic links are a traditional
> feature of Unix & Linux. People familiar
> with those operating systems know lots of practical
> uses of links.
>
> Windows does support both kinds of links, but only
> on NTFS disks.
> Windows legacy filesystem (varieries of FAT) do not support links.
>
> So, users can expect that legacy software can break in various funny
> ways when it encounters links.
> For example, a program can check for a disk space on a wrong volume,
> or, when asked to zip a subtree, will read several whole other
> disks linked into this subtree. Not mentioning circular links :)
> It will take some time until majority of Windows users get used to
> links, and so will do all software vendors.
>
> Regards,
> -- pa
>
> mazorj wrote:

>>
>> Thank you, but I already started reading the comments on the PCM
>> page where DiskJunction is posted for downloading. I was able to
>> glean some additional information from
>> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/235128 but that, like most KB
>> articles, is written for programmers, not end users. The 295 other
>> KB hits searching on "symbolic link" also are intended for
>> programmers solving specific problems with symlinks. So I do have
>> some specific questions as an experienced user who is not a
>> programmer:
>> 1. Are there any categorical "no-no's" for creating symlinks that
>> users should avoid? 2. In layman's terms, are there any standards
>> or best practices for creating symlinks? Ditto for where they
>> should be stored, or do they just exist as keys in the Registry?
>> 3. Can user-created symlinks conflict with existing Vista
>> symlinks? If so, what are some of the possible symptoms and
>> consequences? How does Vista resolve them?
>> 4. According to the KB article, symlinks are a way for Win32
>> programs to access devices by "symbolically linking" to their NT
>> assigned objects. Does this mean that symlinks have no utility for
>> Win64 programs? And can we assume that any program that
>> automatically installs itself in the Program Files (x86) folder is
>> a Win32 application?
>> 5. Do Win32 programs automatically create their own symlinks as
>> needed? If so, is there a way to find them stored in a file or in
>> the Registry? (The reason being that there is no point in creating
>> a duplicate symlink. Conversely, a program may be made more
>> responsive or useful if you find that doesn't have a needed
>> symlink.)
>> 6. Am I asking in the wrong forum? This seems like the logical
>> choice but I'll gladly repost in another if that's where I'm more
>> likely to get informative responses.
>> Again, all I'm trying to do here is elicit general information
>> from any knowledgeable participants in the group. "Richard Urban"
>> <richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx
>> <mailto:richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx>> wrote in message
>> news:eRxzCm64JHA.1716@xxxxxx
>> http://discuss.pcmag.com/forums/1004422140/ShowPost.aspx
>>
>> --
>>
>> Richard Urban
>> Microsoft MVP
>> Windows Desktop Experience
>> "mazorj" <mazorj@xxxxxx <mailto:mazorj@xxxxxx>>
>> wrote
>> in message news:eqmogq54JHA.5048@xxxxxx
>> No, I don't think it's a stretch. First, I did ask
>> specific
>> questions. Second, how do you know what questions you
>> should be
>> asking if it's all new to you? Third, there are some
>> participants who do try to share their knowledge even when
>> it's
>> clear that the poster is in over his head and needs some
>> schooling. I was just trying to draw on the group's
>> collective
>> expertise. If you know about symlinks then you don't even
>> need
>> to go to the article or buy the utility to contribute
>> something
>> for those of us for whom this is unexplored territory. And
>> as
>> to buying it "just to respond to me," how do you know that
>> no
>> one else already has that utility?
>> Furthermore, posting it here alerts users to the existence
>> of
>> symlinks and a utility that might be of benefit to them.
>> MS is
>> not the sole source of all knowledge and wisdom here.
>> "Richard Urban" <richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx
>> <mailto:richardurbanREMOVETHIS@xxxxxx>> wrote in
>> message news:exq%23qrm4JHA.1716@xxxxxx
>> Why don't you ask a specific question about links?
>> Forget
>> about this program for a while.
>> Expecting someone to go to another web site to read an
>> article, and then buy (PC Mag sells all their
>> utilities) the
>> utility so they can learn it capabilities just to
>> answer
>> your generic question is a bit of a stretch - don't you
>> think?
>>
>> --
>>
>> Richard Urban
>> Microsoft MVP
>> Windows Desktop Experience
>> "mazorj" <mazorj@xxxxxx
>> <mailto:mazorj@xxxxxx>> wrote in message
>> news:uYDgUSm4JHA.1424@xxxxxx
>> PC Magazine has come out with an interesting
>> utility
>> that taps in Vista's "symbolic links" (whatever
>> they are).
>>
>> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2347491,00.asp
>> This is all new to me, and one knowledgeable
>> commenter
>> at the site is having some significant problems
>> that the
>> author has offered to investigate. But assuming
>> that
>> DiskJunction works or can be made to work as
>> advertised,
>> can anyone comment on symbolic link capabilities,
>> what they might do for users that link files can't,
>> and
>> caveats for those who are entering new territory?
>> (Note
>> that while i t displays Vista's symlinks, it won't
>> let
>> you delete them, just the ones that it creates.)
>> Links to technical articles are welcome, but so
>> are
>> well-formed summary comments and personal insights
>> done
>> in plain English by our resident experts.
>>