Disclaimer: I work with programmers, but am not one myself and have no real / formal knowledge of how an OS works; please be patient if the following makes plain my ignorance :)
I am trying to organize a large group of folders that contain many different subfolders and documents (full context is provided below, in case it is helpful / relevant).
I'm trying to avoid duplication of folders/documents but it would be most convenient for many folders/documents to be "filed" in multiple places. As such, I was thinking of using either symbolic links or aliases, but was wondering which would be most appropriate / robust to ongoing development and changes?
I'm not very clear on the difference between the two (from what I have read, a Mac alias is a kind of symbolic link, but with different behaviour). However, while working on other projects where, e.g. an app calls on a script which may be intermittently updated by my programmer, I know we had to make use of a symbolic link to avoid issues when the file was updated (& an alias would not work, in that case).
All these files are currently stored on DropBox, in case that adds additional complications.
Any suggestions would be very much welcome, including pointers on structuring / organizing files optimally. I find that I am constantly pulled between having well-organized folders and quick access to those folders / documents, and imagine there must be a solution that allows for both!
Context: the following may or may not be relevant to the proposed solution and is only included for completeness.
I am teacher, and create a new folder for each class (8-12 classes/semester); within which I create updated versions of my notes (which are done in LaTeX, so are grouped in separate folders, for each lecture); new resources to incorporate in the future; questions from students and other related info.
During any given semester, my work lives almost exclusively in the course-folder for that semester, so I try to ensure that all, and only, relevant files are in that folder for the duration of the semester.
Any unused resources or projects that have to be carried forward are generally moved to a class-resources folder that is carried forward from semester-to-semester. It would be convenient, however, to make this process less demanding to maintain (e.g. having the resources folder as a symbolic link of the folder in each semester, so that material to be carried forward is automatically filed there and can be found within any semesters folder).