[Python-Dev] Triple-quoted strings and indentation

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Wed Jul 6 07:59:51 CEST 2005

"Andrew Durdin" <adurdin at gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:59e9fd3a0507052116307e4d84 at mail.gmail.com...
> In general, I find triple-quoted strings to be very handy,
> particularly for standalone scripts. However, the fact that they have
> to be written in the left-hand column to avoid leading whitespace
> really grates, particularly when they're nested within a block or two

At present I think I would do
usage_text = '''\
text how I want it
perhaps in global context or at top of function and then

>    try:
>        options, args = getopt.getopt(sys.argv[1:], "cf:s")
>    except getopt.GetoptError:
         print usage_text

I long ago found it advantageous to pull message texts from scattered 
locations into a central place where easier to find and edit.  I also make 
program logic easier to read without a long block in the way.  YMMV
Doc strings, first meant for the code reader, need to be where they are.
They also come before the code itself, so don't interfere.

> -- it's a wart:

That is rather extreme, and is definitely an opinion.

> I have written a patch that changes the way triple-quoted strings are
> scanned so that leading whitespace is ignored.

And what if I want the leading whitespace left just the way I carefully put 
it?  And what of existing code dependent on literals being as literal as 
they currently are?  I think the soonest this could be considered is Python 

Terry J. Reedy

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