Sunday, August 19, 2007

We'd just have to fix it all the time

That's the story about why IT won't tell people that they know why Illustrator gets the "can't find any linked images in any of your documents anymore" error periodically. This is a very annoying issue, as it means that one person on a team is creating files that nobody else can open without having to relink to all the placed images. And every file everyone else creates is similarly broken for them. It's kind of a waste of everyone's time. We've been dealing with it since we upgraded to CS2.

So the issue is that when a mounted volume disappears while Illustrator has files open, it recreates a "phantom" volume in which to store the files. This phantom volume is actually a subdirectory of the /Volumes/ directory. Then, when the mounted volume reappears, the OS says, "hmm, I already have a volume named "The Server," I think I'll refer to this one as "The Server-1." From that point on, an image that I put on /Volumes/The Server/will be linked in to an AI file at /Volumes/The Server-1/...

Obviously, that's a dumb thing to do, and it's related to the change in CS whereby you can't rename a folder containing a file that's currently open in Illustrator. If you do... Illustrator recreates the old folder hierarchy so that everything can be as it was when the file was first open. In a networked workflow, this sucks because you may not know what files your team has open at any particular time. The version control issues are nasty. Compare this to how a nicely written app such as Omnioutliner handles it.

It was kind of a surprise when I emailed IT saying I thought I'd figured out what caused the issue... only to find out they already knew how to fix it, but weren't publicizing it, because "we'd just have to fix it all the time."

So believe it or not, I'm not actually interested in making IT run from floor to floor manually fixing the issue. I don't want them to waste their time any more than I want my team to waste its time.

But until Adobe fixes the issue, somebody could write a simple little shell script to periodically check for and correct it on the user's computer.

Then all of us -- IT and the rest of the company -- could stop wasting our time today.

So somebody should do that.

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