[Tutor] absolute locations

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at blueyonder.co.uk
Fri Jan 9 02:59:59 EST 2004

> > >>> fileName = os.path.join("c:\\Documents and Settings", 
> > "Christopher Spears", "My Documents", "python", "unit4.txt")
> Well, that's a way that works, but I, for one, am not
> completely convinced that the first way shouldn't work.
> Why should someone be forced to type the first "\\",
> especially since that might change on a per-os basis?

Because C:Documets....

is a perfectly valid path(*) and if join() always put a \\ after 
the drive letter you would not be able to create a relative path 
on another disk!

If you want the path to be absolute you need to make it so.

(*)For those not accustomed to DOS and its peculiarities, 
the OS stores the current location *per disk*, thus:

D:> dir C:
....contents of WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory....

So although I am now in the root of D:, Windows knows that 
my last C: location was C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 and when I ask 
for a dir listing thats the directory it tells me about.
And if I change back to the C: drive thats where it puts me.

D:> C:

Similarly if I CD on the D drive while located on C it does 
not move me into D: it simply changes the current D position, 
so that when I next move to D I move into the new position, 
not to root.

Thats why a relative path can begin with the drive letter!

Alan G.

More information about the Tutor mailing list