Oh dear. I’m not encouraged. My reply (the fact that I received one being something that I’m quite pleased about) from engineering at Apple regarding my most recent bug report (that is, bug #4273090, about how bookmarks to PDF files within Preview.app break if their path changes) states that the behaviour I suggest (i.e., the bookmark doesn’t break) is impossible:
[Name removed out of consideration]: Engineering has determined this issue behaves as intended based on the following information:
If you move the file, how would Preview know where you’d moved it? This kind of thing only works with applications because of the launch services mechanism and the Finder. Since Preview isn’t running all the time, it can’t receive notifications of when every file on your disk is moved, and you probably wouldn’t want Preview being launched every time you move or rename a file.
I can’t begin to describe how I feel about this. The first sentence destroys every hope that I had that Apple hires exclusively Really Clever People. Which is why I included the name that appeared in the email as well [UPDATE: actually, I’ve now removed it after the suggestion of someone more wise than myself]. It is unconscionable that a developer working for Apple doesn’t know that Mac OS X can refer to files in the file system via a unique ID that is independent of their location—haven’t these people been using aliases for years? Apparently not.
Poke around some of Apple’s documentation to read more: “On HFS and HFS+ file systems, each file and folder has a unique, persistent identity. Aliases use this identity along with pathname information to find files and folders on the same volume.”
And that was with just five minutes Googling. Sheesh. Let’s get our act together, okay?