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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
Create Links on Desktop you can delete or edit w/ impunity!
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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Tue 11 Aug 2009, 12:21    Post_subject:  Create Links on Desktop you can delete or edit w/ impunity!  

The ability to access files, folders and programs from the desktop is one of the most useful features of any graphical user interface.

There are two ways to place items on the desktop but the ramifications of them may not be readily apparent. The easiest method is to open ROX-Filer and drag files or folders from there onto the desktop. If you decide later to remove the item you have two possibilities: You can right click on it and choose Remove Item(s) or Send To Trash. If you select Remove Item(s) only the icon will be removed from the desktop. If you select Send To Trash the icon will be removed from the desktop and the file or folder it represents will be moved to the Trash directory.

The other way to place items on the desktop is to create a symbolic link to a file or folder. This involves more effort than the previous method but the advantages will soon be apparent.

First, open the my-documents folder in ROX-Filer. Right click in the ROX-Filer window and create a new folder. You may give this folder any name you like but I prefer to name it Desktop_Shortcuts_XX and replace xx after the underscore with my first and last initials. TIP: I like to append my initials to backups of system files I’ve modified too. This makes them easier to find with Pfind.

Now drag Desktop_Shortcuts_XX onto the desktop. From this point on every time you want to create a desktop shortcut just open a ROX-Filer window, drag the file or folder onto the Desktop_Shortcuts_XX icon and select Link (relative). Then open the Desktop_Shortcuts_XX folder and drag the new symbolic link onto the desktop.

The only caveat to creating symbolic links with this process is if you delete the Desktop_Shortcuts_XX folder all of the shortcuts you created will be deleted and the links you put on the desktop will cease to function. Even if you did delete Desktop_Shortcuts_XX all you’d have to do is repeat the procedure I’ve described here.

Symbolic links are nothing more than pointers to a file or folder therefore you may take any action you please with them without fear of disturbing the item they point to. You can even modify their behavior by editing them to pass arguments to the executable file they represent.

Note: Symbolic links (aka sym links) are identified by a small arrow in the upper left hand corner of the icon.
Note: The default desktop icons are not sym links. If you send them to the trash you will be unable to run the program.
Note: Puppy 4.2.1 comes with a panel fully stocked with sym links ready for use on the desktop. You may, if you like, click on them and see what they do before dragging them to the desktop.
Note: If you right click an item in ROX-Filer there are options to Delete the file or folder and Send To Trash. The option to Remove Item(s) only applies to items on the desktop.

If this doesn’t make sense to you just think about how you use to do this in Windows: Right click on a file or folder then select Send To, Desktop (create shortcut).

Your comments and questions are welcome. Hopefully I didn’t put anyone to sleep. Smile

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disciple

Joined: 20 May 2006
Posts: 6458
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 03:52    Post_subject:  

Since you understand how it works, I don't understand why you are afraid to pin the original file rather than a symlink... perhaps you can enlighten me?
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Kal

Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 624
Location: California, High Desert

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 04:09    Post_subject:  

Your idea does protect the original files for people who don't read and understand the warnings on the trash can. It's kind of hard to protect people from themselves. The buffer folder holding the symbolic links does that. I might set it up for the professor's computer, I work on. He gets mouse happy at times and trashes things and clean the trash can. I will hold off on dragging the folder to the desktop, he would trash can it unintentionally. I just placed the folder in root instead of my-documents, he plays in there to much. Very bright in his field, but, had a good secretary all the time, before retiring.

The drawbacks are the making of links to the folder, then back out to the desktop, and the need to set the icons on the links. He wouldn't be able to make them probably anyway. Would save me the time of making new source files from his backups, which he doesn't know about, every two or three weeks. I cured him of spy-ware, Trojan horses, viruses and things like that, by switching him to Linux.

I never liked the shortcut arrows on the icons in Windows desktop, and normally tweaked them away (just personal taste). The professor thinks their cute.

Thanks, Kal
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ICPUG

Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 1290
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 07:44    Post_subject:  

Thanks Kal for the interesting discussion.

I personally don't like too many icons on my desktop but until someone tells me how to create toolbars I am stuck with it, so your comments are useful.

One thing - where is this panel of symlinks in Puppy 4.2.1? Is it my-documents somewhere? How do we see them?


disciple - To answer your query - I think Kal is thinking of others who are not quite as clever as him/you. I admire that. Also, we all hit the wrong button sometimes. It protects us against ourselves!

Back to the Windows shortcut arrow. I kinda like them as a means of knowing that if you delete it you are NOT deleting the file. If there is no shortcut arrow I am never sure!
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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 09:11    Post_subject:  

disciple wrote:
Since you understand how it works, I don't understand why you are afraid to pin the original file rather than a symlink... perhaps you can enlighten me?



EDIT: I have amended the title per your suggestion.

I prefer to do it this way.

Some advantages of my method of using sym links on the desktop instead of the item itself are:
    It enables me to edit the properties of the link while leaving the properties of original file intact.
    I can tell at a glance which items on the desktop are files / folders and which are sym links.
    I can tell at a glance which items on the desktop have been placed there by me.
    I can set a unique icon for the sym links I create.

HOW TO - Make a desktop shortcut to a web site:
Create a sym link to /usr/bin/local/defaultbrowser and put it on the desktop. Right click it and select Edit Item. Enter: http://www.puppylinux.ca/ in the Arguments to pass (for executables) field. In The text displayed under the icon is: field enter Pupplinux.ca . Press OK.

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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 09:28    Post_subject:  

Kal wrote:
Your idea does protect the original files for people who don't read and understand the warnings on the trash can. It's kind of hard to protect people from themselves. The buffer folder holding the symbolic links does that. I might set it up for the professor's computer, I work on. He gets mouse happy at times and trashes things and clean the trash can. I will hold off on dragging the folder to the desktop, he would trash can it unintentionally. I just placed the folder in root instead of my-documents, he plays in there to much. Very bright in his field, but, had a good secretary all the time, before retiring.

The drawbacks are the making of links to the folder, then back out to the desktop, and the need to set the icons on the links.


In the dialog to set the icon there is an option to set it for all files of the same type. I’ve never tried this so use it with caution.

Quote:
He wouldn't be able to make them probably anyway. Would save me the time of making new source files from his backups, which he doesn't know about, every two or three weeks. I cured him of spy-ware, Trojan horses, viruses and things like that, by switching him to Linux.

I never liked the shortcut arrows on the icons in Windows desktop, and normally tweaked them away (just personal taste).


Me too. Perhaps someday this will be posible in Puppy too, who knows?

Quote:
The professor thinks their cute.


It takes all kinds.

Quote:
Thanks, Kal


You’re welcome. Thanks for reading my stuff.

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puppyite


Joined: 23 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
Location: U.S., Midwest, Central Time Zone, GMT-6

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 09:43    Post_subject:  

ICPUG wrote:
I personally don't like too many icons on my desktop but until someone tells me how to create toolbars I am stuck with it, so your comments are useful.


If that was for me then thanks.

Quote:
One thing - where is this panel of symlinks in Puppy 4.2.1? Is it my-documents somewhere? How do we see them?


Move your cursor to the extreme left edge of the desktop (somewhat above center), wait. Click the Add icon bar when it pops out. The folder you see is ~/my-applications/bin

Quote:
Back to the Windows shortcut arrow. I kinda like them as a means of knowing that if you delete it you are NOT deleting the file. If there is no shortcut arrow I am never sure!


I have a love hate relationship with them, the arrows I mean.

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ICPUG

Joined: 24 Jul 2005
Posts: 1290
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu 13 Aug 2009, 07:28    Post_subject:  

Thanks puppyite for the reply. You surmised I got confused yesterday and directed my comments at Kal rather than your good self!

Time to have a play now I have the knowledge.
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