On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM, Terry Jan Reedy <tjreedy@udel.edu> wrote:
'Escape' means 'ignore the normal meaning of the following character'.

\ is not only an escape character as you define it. Sometimes it means the exact opposite of that: the following character has special meaning, e.g., \n \t etc.

And it is also not the case that \ only applies to the single following character. \123 is a four-character escape sequence, \u1234 is a six-character sequence and \U12345678 is a ten-character sequence! (And Python is not the only language that recognizes long escape sequences.)

So in this case, while the current escape sequence is \<newline>, the new proposed one is 


Or writing this in the style used in the python docs:

"\" whitespace-other-than-newline * [ "#" anything-but-newline * ] newline

I understand if you disagree with the proposal. But I don't think an argument that it is fundamentally ill-defined and ignorant of history is valid.

--- Bruce
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