While looking around for a particular utility, I ended up on Google Code just dredging through all the projects they have online. As I went through, I kept opening tabs to more and more applications that sounded interesting. I found enough applications worth sharing that I decided to post one per day this week and highlight some hidden treasures of Google Code.
Day #4: SymLinker
SymLinker provides a GUI to simplify the use of the MKLINK command and symbolic links, hard links, and directory junctions. The MKLINK command is found in Vista, Server 2008, and assumedly Windows 7. Symbolic links are different from shortcuts and file copies. They also have different uses and serve different purposes. For a great explanation of these terms (what is a symbolic link?) and another utility to assist with these objects check out this Freeware Genius article on Link Shell Extension.
Symbolic Link Creator simply asks what type of link you want to make (symbolic link, hard link, or directory junction). It first asks where you want to store this link, what name you want to give it, and at what the link is supposed to be pointing. Click the Create Link button and you’re all set.
If we browse to the location we specified to store the link, you’ll see it was created with the name we specified and it has an arrow like a shortcut, but it has different properties than a shortcut.
If we double-click on the DL symbolic link, we can see it takes us to all the files that are in the folder we specified, but the path is still under our symbolic link. It did NOT redirect us (like a shortcut would) to the object it’s pointing to because a symbolic link points to the data, not the object itself. Nor did it copy the folder, the folder structure, and the files to this new location. If you modified a file in one location, you’d notice the change in both locations.
To read more on the MKLINK command, peruse this Microsoft TechNet article.
You can browse and download SymLinker from its Google Code page: https://github.com/amd989/Symlinker
The tool reviewed in the FreewareGenius article linked above seems to be a better interface for working with symbolic links and such, but anything that tries to make these tools easier deserves a gander, thus my review of SymLinker.