When would the "." and ".." entries in a dir listing differ? (I understand they represent two different directories, but they always list identically with the same date and time in a default dir command. Do they ever differ?)
As to the actual listing:
They're using the date of the current directory for both. If you start in
So the date of
The only time the timestamps would be different is if one or other of
The original answer:
So under normal circumstances they are always different.
The only time they yield the same result is when you are at the root of the disk. So at
I actually can't give you proof, but I think:
Every directory has a list of directories and files it contains. To make it possible to use relative paths every directory needs those two pointers - one to itself
So the timestamp of
No, they will always be the same. Because these are directories, not files, they are handled slightly differently (in fact, they are not even normal directories, they are pointers as eL01 said, so they are handled even more differently than normal directories).
When you create a directory, two entries are automatically created: