Indexed aliases: folders vs files, Finder vs Dropbox

I have a question regarding how Finder aliases are treated in DT.

My setup is the following.
I have a database with multiple indexed folders, all local on the MBP, but some also synced through Dropbox. My Dropbox is in the home folder (~Dropbox).
Some of these folders contain aliases (created in Finder) to other folders and files, which are either in ~Documents or in ~Dropbox.
Not sure why, but my understanding was that aliases are not indexed in DT. (I seem to remember seeing “skipped” in the log when updating folders containing aliases…)
Trying to figure out some things happening in my database, I discovered that DT actually is supposed to resolve aliases and therefore indexes the original folder/file pointed to by the alias. This is not the behavior I am observing, as some aliases get resolved and the original is indexed, while others do not and are just ignored (ie. they don’t appear in DT at all). But I can’t figure out why…

So my question is this. Is there any difference in the way aliases are treated by DT depending on where it is? (ie. in ~Dropbox vs in ~Documents) Or depending on the kind of item it is? (ie. folder vs file)
I know aliases are “synced” in Dropbox as an unknown filetype. Could that be causing issues afterwards when DT updates an indexed alias?


Did you add these aliases afterwards to already indexed folders? Another possibility is that the aliases aren’t valid anymore after being transferred via Dropbox.

While it is possible to index aliases in the latest versions of DEVONthink 3, we still don’t advocate their use in indexed Finder folders.

It’s a mix. Some aliases were there when I indexed the folders, others were added afterwards. I did clean up a few invalid aliases, but most of them are valid.

I looked at it more closely, and I think I figured out some consistency. Any alias pointing to a file/folder in Dropbox does not get resolved and is just absent from DT. All other aliases get resolved as expected.

As I mainly use aliases to point to items located in Dropbox and not the other way around, that’s why I assumed they were just ignored by DT up until now.

So is that a change from before? As in, were all aliases ignored before? If so, that’s a major change I did not realized was happening.

I have been using aliases forever to consolidate items related to multiple projects. It’s very handy. I thought I had a good setup based on my - mistaken - assumption that DT ignored aliases… which was fine, and actually helped me keep some stuff out of DT.

I will adjust my setup to this new (at least to me!) “feature”. That’s why I want to understand which aliases get resolved and which don’t, so I don’t have unexpected surprises in the future :slight_smile:

Yes, indexed aliases being resolved is a fairly new thing in DEVONthink.

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Ok great! Thanks for confirming.

I can probably guess the answer, but I’ll ask anyways… :wink: I don’t suppose there is a way to NOT resolve aliases in indexed folders? Like a preference setting where we could choose to resolve them or not?

I can already think of a million of reasons not to have that… But I would still love to know what you think about it!

You’re welcome.

And no, there is no such preference though a hidden preference may be possible. @cgrunenberg would have to assess the feasibility of such a modification.