I've been searching and searching for a process on OS X that creates something as simple and elegant as Windows shortcuts. At the user's direction on install, I need to create a shortcut-like item that contains command-line arguments to the installed application, and that can be placed in the Dock like a normal application with an icon.
I have found that I can do exactly what I want to do from the Automator application: Select "Application", enter the command line, save it, copy and paste the icon, etc. However, the process is all manual. I can't do that in an automated install of the application.
I cannot seem to find a way to do these Automator steps from the command line (which would be required during installation of my application) using something like Apple Script (osacript).
In what is more of a hack than an actual solution, I have also found that I can manipulate the installed application's Info.plist file, replacing the CFBundleExecutable value with a shell script that does an "open -a ... --args ...", but this requires some rather unbelievable hoops just to make it work.
I am also aware of Finder aliases (Can I create a Desktop Shortcut/Alias to a Folder from the Terminal?), which might also solve the problem, however there doesn't appear to be a way to add command-line arguments.
Everything seems to require either user interaction, or hackish file moving and manipulation. So the question is: How do I achieve this simple and elegant Windows-like shortcut mechanism under OS X without requiring these things?
Just to be clear, launching the application with arguments is not a problem (e.g., "open -a <apppath> --args ..."). Creating something that the user can manage like an application (i.e., Dock) that actually launches the app with arguments doesn't seem to be something very easily accomplished under OS X.