is this a Python bug?

Remco Gerlich scarblac-spamtrap at
Thu Feb 17 11:11:14 CET 2000

Steve Holden wrote in comp.lang.python:
> What on Earth does "backslashes are still used to quote the
> folowing character, but all backslashes are left in the string"
> mean?  I am sure it means something, but I can't tell what.

It's simple.

In a normal string between '', you need to escape inner 's:
'\''   is the string: '
In raw strings, the ' still needs to be escaped, but the \ is left in:
r'\''  is the string: \'
You can't have a raw string with only one \ in it, because:
r'\'   is an error, the \ escapes the ', and the string doesn't end
r'\\'  is the string: \\
The \ is escaped in the last one, but the escaping \ is left in the string.
In normal strings, it's simple:
'\\'   is the string: \
The first backslash escapes the second, and is then removed from the string.

There's nothing really magic about it.
Remco Gerlich,  scarblac at
 11:06am  up 85 days, 17:11,  6 users,  load average: 0.20, 0.07, 0.07

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