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Confusing doc string

From: Jason Rumney
Subject: Confusing doc string
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2006 10:45:38 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv: Gecko/20060516 Thunderbird/ Mnenhy/

The doc string for compilation-search-path has the confusing sentence "Elements should be directory names, not file names of directories."
I don't know what that is supposed to mean, can someone clarify it?

   compilation-search-path is a variable defined in `compile.el'.
   Its value is (nil)

   *List of directories to search for source files named in error messages.
   Elements should be directory names, not file names of directories.
   nil as an element means to try the default directory.

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