Before I started using DEVONthink, I used to create a fair amount of aliases for documents and folders in Finder. Like most researchers, my projects often rely on some of the same source materials. So instead of duplicating them, I used to just create aliases for them in the new project folder. These aliases were always annoyingly fragile, but even seeing a dead alias in the project folder was a good reminder of its relevance, etc. And, it’s easy to use Alfred or Spotlight to quickly locate the file anyways. In fact, I used aliases almost like a citation record of sorts for my projects.
One of the many things that’s brilliant about DEVONthink is the way it gets around these alias-related Finder problems through its use of replicants. It was one of the big reasons I decided to take the plunge and adopt DEVONthink. In any case, I have a couple of questions that I was hoping to bounce off the forum that are related to replicants, aliases, and indexing.
First, as a DEVONthink newbie that indexes Finder folders containing said aliases, I understand that these will not import/sync into my databases (i.e., they even show up on the Log as “skipped”). Has anyone created a script that will replace an alias located in an indexed Finder folder with a replicant of the file in DEVONthink? In other words, if the alias is pointing to a file or folder that is also indexed by DEVONthink, is there any way that DEVONthink could just place a replicant in its analogous location in the database? And, in cases where it can’t find the appropriate file, leave some other kind of indicator?
To be honest, this seemed like a bit of a pipe dream, but I thought it was worthing asking before I start doing it all manually. That’s a lot of elbow grease! I also got my hopes up when I saw the note in the “Changes since Beta 7” section of the manual indicating: “Improved handling of indexed items by resolving alias data if possible, especially if the same items are indexed in multiple databases and renamed in one database.” But perhaps this is something else?
Second, if I create replicants for all of the documents and folders/groups where I used to have aliases in Finder, is there a way for me to see the replicants in Finder? For example, this might sound odd, but is it possible to create a Finder alias for a replicant in DEVONthink (i.e., based on its item url - x-devonthink-item://…)? If so, does anyone have a script they can share (e.g., select something in DEVONthink that’s located in an indexed folder/group, and the script drops an alias for it in the analogous Finder location)? These aliases wouldn’t sync in DEVONthink, so I wouldn’t have to worry about seeing everything duplicated in DEVONthink, and now I could see a similar citation-like record in Finder (albeit ones that would open in DEVONthink, as opposed to an alias that points directly to the true file or folder in Finder and opens in its default viewer). This seems like a nice middle ground solution.
Thanks for any help you can lend. Also, if others have suggestions for newbies dealing with aliases and indexing, I’d love to hear how you approach these issues. Thanks again!