What is really an alias?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Akarin, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Akarin macrumors 6502

    Akarin

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nyon, Switzerland
    #1
    Hi all,

    I was wondering about aliases. I made myself a folder with aliases inside for 46 of my most used apps. I then placed this folder on the dock. Just out of curiosity, I checked the folder size... 38MB !!!

    Some aliases are as big as 1.5MB. Why? I mean, they are just shortcut pointing to the app so why such a big size?

    Thank you for helping me understand a bit better :)

    PS. Considering the 38MB size, is it a bad practice to add this folder to my dock? Would it slow the system in any way?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    I get the same results with aliases, but can't give you a good answer for the size of the aliases. Maybe it has to do with the icons?

    Anyway, my reply was pertaining to the Dock part of your question. Since the folder in the Dock is just a shortcut, and not actually stored on the Dock, it will not slow down the Mac. You have your Applications folder on your Dock, don't you?
    Btw, my Applications folder is 17GB small, and I have a shortcut to it in my Dock, and I don't experience any slow downs due to it being there.
    But I also use Alfred to start my applications.
     
  3. Akarin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Akarin

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nyon, Switzerland
    #3
    Yes, I thought the icon could be an explanation or at least part of it... come on, 1.5MB for the small graphic of an icon? Ahaha...

    Actually, I don't have the application folder on my Dock (too many things inside making using it to launch apps slow and pointless) but I see your point. Still... as you say, it's not really your application folder on the dock but an alias to it... ...and considering the size of aliases... well... hum, you see my point? :p
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    An icon can be bigger than you think. There can be as big as 512 x 512 pixel and also store smaller variants, 12 variants to be exact. And as an icon can contain complex structures and colours, that will also take away some storage.
     

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