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Inside Macintosh: Files /

Chapter 4 - Alias Manager

This chapter describes how your application can use the Alias Manager to establish and resolve alias records, which are data structures that describe file system objects (that is, files, directories, and volumes). You create an alias record to take a "fingerprint" of a file system object, usually a file, that you might need to locate again later. You can store the alias record, instead of a file system specification, and then let the Alias Manager find the file again when it's needed. The Alias Manager contains algorithms for locating files that have been moved, renamed, copied, or restored from backup.

The Alias Manager lets you manage alias records. It does not directly manipulate Finder aliases, which the user creates and manages through the Finder. The chapter "Finder Interface" in Inside Macintosh: Macintosh Toolbox Essentials describes Finder aliases and ways to accommodate them in your application.
The Alias Manager is available only in system software version 7.0 or later. Use the Gestalt function, described in the chapter "Gestalt Manager" of Inside Macintosh: Operating System Utilities, to determine whether the Alias Manager is present.

Read this chapter if you want your application to create and resolve alias records. You might store an alias record, for example, to identify a customized dictionary from
within a word-processing document. When the user runs a spelling checker on the document, your application can ask the Alias Manager to resolve the record to find the correct dictionary.

To use this chapter, you should be familiar with the File Manager's conventions for identifying files, directories, and volumes, as described in the chapter "Introduction to File Management" in this book.

This chapter begins with a description of the Alias Manager, alias records, and the search strategies that the Alias Manager uses to resolve an alias record. Then this chapter shows how you can

Chapter Contents
About the Alias Manager
Alias Records
Search Strategies
Relative Searches
Absolute Searches
Fast Searches
Exhaustive Searches
Using the Alias Manager
Creating Alias Records
Resolving Alias Records
Identifying a Single Target
Identifying Multiple Targets
Maintaining Alias Records
Getting Information From Alias Records
Customizing Alias Records
Alias Manager Reference
Data Structures
Alias Records
Alias Manager Routines
Creating and Updating Alias Records
Resolving and Reading Alias Records
Application-Defined Routines
Filtering Possible Targets
Summary of the Alias Manager
Pascal Summary
Data Types
Alias Manager Routines
Application-Defined Routine
C Summary
Data Types
Alias Manager Routines
Application-Defined Routine
Assembly-Language Summary
Data Structure
Trap Macros
Result Codes

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© Apple Computer, Inc.
2 JUL 1996