There are many kinds of file systems, varying widely both in their superficial syntactic details, and in their underlying power and structure. The facilities provided by Common Lisp for referring to and manipulating files has been chosen to be compatible with many kinds of file systems, while at the same time minimizing the program-visible differences between kinds of file systems.
Since file systems vary in their conventions for naming files, there are two distinct ways to represent filenames: as namestrings and as pathnames.
19.1.1 Namestrings as Filenames
19.1.2 Pathnames as Filenames
19.1.3 Parsing Namestrings Into Pathnames