[Python-Dev] PEP 383: Non-decodable Bytes in System Character Interfaces

Cameron Simpson cs at zip.com.au
Wed Apr 29 13:36:53 CEST 2009

On 29Apr2009 02:56, Glenn Linderman <v+python at g.nevcal.com> wrote:
> os.listdir(b"")
> I find that on my Windows system, with all ASCII path file names, that I  
> get quite different results when I pass os.listdir an empty str vs an  
> empty bytes.
> Rather than keep you guessing, I get the root directory contents from  
> the empty str, and the current directory contents from an empty bytes.  
> That is rather unexpected.
> So I guess I'd better suggest that a specific, equivalent directory name  
> be passed in either bytes or str form.

I think you may have uncovered an implementation bug rather than an
encoding issue (because I'd expect "" and b"" to be equivalent).

In ancient times, "" was a valid UNIX name for the working directory.
POSIX disallows that, and requires people to use ".".

Maybe you're seeing an artifact; did python move from UNIX to Windows or the
other way around in its porting history? I'd guess the former.

Do you get differing results from listdir(".") and listdir(b".") ?
How's python2 behave for ""? (Since there's no b"" in python2.)

Cameron Simpson <cs at zip.com.au> DoD#743

'Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?'
'Supposing it didn't,' said Pooh after careful thought.

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list