Unrecognized escape sequences in string literals

Douglas Alan darkwater42 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 13 09:37:42 CEST 2009

On Aug 12, 7:19 pm, Steven D'Aprano <st... at REMOVE-THIS-
cybersource.com.au> wrote:

> You are making an unjustified assumption: \y is not an error.

You are making in an unjustified assumption that I ever made such an

My claim is and has always been NOT that \y is inately an error, but
rather that treating unrecognized escape sequences as legal escape
sequences is error PRONE.

> While I'm amused that you've made my own point for me, I'm less
> amused that you seem to be totally incapable of seeing past your
> parochial language assumptions,

Where do you get the notion that my assumptions are in any sense
"parochial"? They come from (1) a great deal of experience programming
very reliable software, and (2) having learned at least two dozen
different programming languages in my life.

> I disagree with nearly everything you say in this post. I think
> that a few points you make have some validity, but the vast
> majority are based on a superficial and confused understanding
> of language design principles.

Whatever. I've taken two graduate level classes at MIT on programming
languages design, and got an A in both classes, and designed my own
programming language as a final project, and received an A+. But I
guess I don't really know anything about the topic at all.

> But it's not the only reasonable design choice, and Bash has
> made a different choice, and Python has made yet a third
> reasonable choice, and Pascal made yet a fourth reasonable choice.

And so did Perl and PHP, and whatever other programming language you
happen to mention. In fact, all programming languages are equally
good, so we might as well just freeze all language design as it is
now. Clearly we can do no better.

> One party insisting that red is the only logical colour for a
> car, and that anybody who prefers white or black or blue is
> illogical, is unacceptable.

If having all cars be red saved a lot of lives, or increased gas
mileage significantly, then it might very well be the best color for a
car. But of course, that is not the case. With programming languages,
there is much more likely to be an actual fact of the matter on which
sorts of language design decisions make programmers more productive on
average, and which ones result in more reliable software.

I will certainly admit that obtaining objective data on such things is
very difficult, but it's a completely different thing that one's color
preference for their car.


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