subprocess chokes on spaces in path

Thorsten Kampe thorsten at
Tue Nov 6 13:49:37 CET 2007

* BartlebyScrivener (Tue, 06 Nov 2007 20:32:33 -0000)
> Using bash on Debian Etch.
> If word_doc = sys.argv[1] and it's a file name like My\ Word.doc this
> function reads My and Word as two separate files unless the second
> '%s' is quoted.  Took me a lot of trial and error to discover. Is this
> the most elegant way to do it? I was using popen originally, then saw
> some threads suggesting subprocess cured the spaces in path problem.
> def get_MSWordDoc_text(word_doc):
>     """Harvests text from an MSWord doc using antiword."""
>     antiword = "/usr/bin/antiword"
>     # Note the extra single quotes around the second '%s'
>     # without these quotes, bash chokes on paths with spaces in them
>     # says can't open My ; can't open Word

If bash has problems with spaces then the obvious thing to do is not 
to use bash, right?!


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