[docs] [issue12162] Documentation about re \number

R. David Murray report at bugs.python.org
Sun May 29 00:27:27 CEST 2011


R. David Murray <rdmurray at bitdance.com> added the comment:

Why it works is due to a quirk in the handling of python strings: if an apparent escape sequence doesn't "mean anything", it is retained verbatim, including the '\' character.  This is documented in http://docs.python.org/reference/lexical_analysis.html#string-literals:

"Unlike Standard C, all unrecognized escape sequences are left in the string unchanged, i.e., the backslash is left in the string. (This behavior is useful when debugging: if an escape sequence is mistyped, the resulting output is more easily recognized as broken.)"

It is *very* unwise to depend on this behavior for anything except debugging, therefore those examples which do are, in my opinion, wrong.

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