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Re: Null filename ("") is considered to correspond to an existing, reada

From: Thien-Thi Nguyen
Subject: Re: Null filename ("") is considered to correspond to an existing, readable, and writable file?
Date: 07 Jan 2006 15:04:40 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.4

"Drew Adams" <address@hidden> writes:

>  - The confusion that could (and will) arise from the fact that there
> is no explanation of the file-name arg for these functions whose names
> suggest that they act differently than they do. It shows, too, what
> you must do to deal correctly with the problem. Such an example, by
> itself, would in fact be enough as doc to dispel possible confusion:
> it shows that `file-readable-p' by itself does not guarantee that the
> name names a readable file.

the directory is a "readable file" in the filesystem, if you lump
directories and files together, as is convenient to do for certain

instead of worrying whether or not the empty string is a filename,
the better question to ask is how/where (in the manual) to establish the
pervasiveness of `default-directory' and its role in resolving into
filenames those strings that are passed to various functions.

the answer (which i tend to agree with) seems to be that due to its
pervasiveness, explaining the relationship for every leaf in the tree is
a lose compared to explaining the relationship once, in the trunk.

if you read the documentation from the leaves to the trunk, that's your
problem, and that's the source of the potential confusion.


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