New Python 3.0 string formatting - really necessary?

MRAB google at
Mon Dec 22 18:37:52 CET 2008

Michael Torrie wrote:
> r wrote:
>> Steven,
>> Would you like to elaborate on -why- escaped backslashes are needed in
>> strings... i waiting???
> Some character was needed.  It just happens that backslashes have been
> used in this manner for composing nonprintable sequences, codes, etc.
> It's only in use because someone arbitrarily picked it about 40 years
> ago.  Any character could have been used; any such character would still
> be have to escaped.
BCPL used '*', but C, which was developed from BCPL, uses '\'.

> Kind of funny that you are complaining about Python in particular when
> this behavior is in almost all languages today, including Perl, Ruby,
> Don't blame python for a mistake that Microsoft made, that of choosing a
> commonly-accepted escape character (long before Python was even though
> of!) as their path delimiter.  Fortunately sane operating systems use a
> standard slash.  Even Windows APIs accept forward slashes as path
> delimiters.
> So really your complaint about the backslash is a bit silly.  Are you
> going to campaign that C# and Java also "fix" this problem by choosing
> another character?

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