Re: spatial stuff detail

On 9/23/03 11:25 AM, Shaun McCance wrote:
> One of the benefits people always claim for appdirs is that they can be
> put anywhere.  But if things like help systems only look for them in a
> few standard locations, that rather defeats the purpose.

BBEdit is in another volume (i.e. Not the OS X boot volume) in an obscure
folder, and yet the help shows up on my system.  My understanding is that OS
X "registers" applications when they are manipulated in any way (or even
just "seen") in the Finder.  This includes the initial drag-install
(assuming you use the Finder) and, of course, the first time you launch the

> If I made Yelp scan the entire filesystem for OMF files, startup time on Yelp
> would be prohibitively long, and I'd get a bunch of flames.

As far as I know, OS X only scans a few "well-known" locations
(/Applications, ~/Applications, etc.)  Otherwise it uses the "demand-paged"
system described above.  In practice, it is usually transparent to the user.
Very few users need to look up help for an application that:

* has never been launched AND
* has never been manipulated or even seen in the Finder AND
* is not in one of the "well-known" app dirs


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