python 2.7.12 on Linux behaving differently than on Windows

Steve D'Aprano steve+python at
Fri Dec 9 03:26:02 EST 2016

On Fri, 9 Dec 2016 04:52 pm, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:

> Random832 <random832 at>:
>> On Thu, Dec 8, 2016, at 20:38, Dennis Lee Bieber wrote:
>>> In the original 8.3 scheme -- no files "contained" a dot
>> Yes, but they do now, and the compatibility quirks persist.
> When porting a Python program to Windows, I noticed the filename "aux"
> is not allowed in Windows. I suspect it's the same with "lst", "prn",
> "con" and what not.
> In Linux, "." and ".." are taboo. 

No that's incorrect. It isn't that . and .. are forbidden, but they are
reserved: every single directory in Unix file systems have a . and ..
directory entry. So they are legitimate directory names -- they're just not
names you can use for your own files, as they are already in use.

> So is "".

That's one way of looking at things... I'm not sure that the empty string
counts as a file name. Its more of the LACK of a file name.

Besides, that would be ambiguous. Would "/home/steve/" mean my home
directory, or the file "" inside my home directory?

“Cheer up,” they said, “things could be worse.” So I cheered up, and sure
enough, things got worse.

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