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19.1.1 Namestrings as Filenames

A namestring is a string that represents a filename.

In general, the syntax of namestrings involves the use of implementation-defined conventions, usually those customary for the file system in which the named file resides. The only exception is the syntax of a logical pathname namestring, which is defined in this specification; see Section 19.3.1 (Syntax of Logical Pathname Namestrings).

A conforming program must never unconditionally use a literal namestring other than a logical pathname namestring because Common Lisp does not define any namestring syntax other than that for logical pathnames that would be guaranteed to be portable. However, a conforming program can, if it is careful, successfully manipulate user-supplied data which contains or refers to non-portable namestrings.

A namestring can be coerced to a pathname by the functions pathname or parse-namestring.

The following X3J13 cleanup issue, not part of the specification, applies to this section:

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