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Alias files vanish after pulling from repo

Hey. I've been using Git and SourceTree for a couple of years to synchronize my documentation projects between two computers. (Yes, it's not the standard use case, but hey, long story.) Both computers are Macs running macOS High Sierra 10.13.3.

It works well. No problems. Except for one thing I just noticed. If I create an alias file on one machine, then commit it to the repo, then pull it down on the other machine, the alias file shows up in the SourceTree history but it never appears in the second machine's folders.

I tried this in both directions (create alias on machine 1, commit, pull to machine 2; and create alias on machine 2, commit, pull to machine 1).

To be precise: by "alias" I mean a Mac alias file that's just a reference to a file in a different folder, so if you click the alias it opens the file from the other folder (or if it's a folder alias, it jumps to that folder).

A few questions:

1) Is this normal? I.e., is it because of the ethereal nature of alias files?

2) Is this potentially breaking something? I.e., if I create a bunch of aliases and commit/pull them, will I end up with a bunch of phantom aliases that will eventually blow up somewhere?

BTW, I'm not a programmer/coder, so this whole SourceTree/Git thing is a bit magical to me. So please talk to me like I'm a total noob. All help appreciated!

1 answer

Not an answer, but an update. (Same poster, but logged in with different ID; long story.)

OK, so on Machine 2 I cannot see the alias I created on Machine 1 (even though the SourceTree history says it was committed and pulled to Machine 2). BUT! On Machine 2 I happen to be using Windows 10 in a virtual machine, and I go to the folder with the (missing? Invisible?) alias, and THERE IS IS. So I can see it in Windows but not in macOS!

EVEN WEIRDER: in Windows 10, the alias is marked as an Excel file! (It's actually an alias to a folder). It's obviously not an Excel file, and when I try to open it in Excel I get a bunch of warnings and then it opens a file with garbage in it.

So what's going on? Is SourceTree somehow corrupting alias files?

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