It's a standard part of shell syntax that you can use `~' at the
beginning of a file name to stand for your own home directory. You
can use `~user' to stand for user's home directory.
Tilde expansion is the process of converting these abbreviations
to the directory names that they stand for.
Tilde expansion applies to the `~' plus all following characters up
to whitespace or a slash. It takes place only at the beginning of a
word, and only if none of the characters to be transformed is quoted in
Plain `~' uses the value of the environment variable HOME
as the proper home directory name. `~' followed by a user name
uses getpwname to look up that user in the user database, and
uses whatever directory is recorded there. Thus, `~' followed
by your own name can give different results from plain `~', if
the value of HOME is not really your home directory.
Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License