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Pathlib[0] is kind of a step in the right direction. I think you could do something like subclass it to track each component (and component encoding) separately if that makes sense for your application.

I'm not a fan of Python3's language fork in any way (I think it was completely unnecessary to fork the language to make the improvements they wanted to) but I'll admit things like Pathlib and UTF-8b are a step in the right direction for handling arbitrary Unix paths. (I work with a large Python 2 code base and a product that has to interact with a variety of path encodings, so this subject is... sensitive for me.)

[0]: https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0428/

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