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Alternative to aliases??

Someone claimed on a list that there's an alternative to aliases that
does things better.  I use aliases to access any partition for editing
and they run just fine but I'm wondering what other way could this be

What can be simpler than typing  da1+  to get at the contents of the
Windows partition, or typing  CD+  to get at the contents of a CD or L+
or W+ to get to a Linux or Windows floppy? 

Does anyone know of a routine that is superior to aliases to accomplish
what aliases can do?  I recall that the procedure was described but
because of its complexity, I passed on it.

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