I posted the following to superuser.com, and put about a third of the reputation points I had into it:
Impossible pathsI'm not very impressed by the smartness or helpfulness of answers there, so I doubt that I will get adequate responses. I should just read the standards, but I am not feeling unlazy.
Are there any legal paths in POSIX that cannot be associated with a file, regular or irregular? That is, for which test -e "$LEGITIMATEPOSIXPATHNAME" cannot succeed?
Oh, ... and a Happy New Year, Advogato!
It turns out that
/dev/tty/impossible is impossible, since
POSIX says that
/dev/tty must be a character device file, and
I understand that paths can only be the dirname of a file if they are directories
or symlinks. The answerer I awarded my bounty on at SU didn't figure that
out, but he gave me a clue that helped me.