unescape escapes in strings

bvdp bob at mellowood.ca
Mon Feb 23 19:35:35 CET 2009

MRAB wrote:
> bvdp wrote:
>> When reading lines of data from a file in the from (no quotes!)
>>     foo\x20bar
>> and I assign to a variable in a line line like:
>>  f = file('infile', 'r')
>>  for a in f:
>>     print a
>> the string is read in as string with the literal characters 'f', 'o' 
>> ... 'x' , '2' ...
>> as compared to an assignment like:
>>  a="foo\x20bar"
>> which is identical to
>> a="foo bar"
>> Okay, so far ... I think this is what I want since my program is using 
>> space characters as delimiters and I'm trying to use the \x20 notation 
>> to avoid splitting.
>> But, now the problem. When I finally assign the string with the \x20 
>> to a variable the literals are still there. And here I really want 
>> them all nicely converted to the desired values.
>> So, the question is: is there an "unescape()" for strings so that 
>> "foo\x20bar" is converted to "foo bar"????
>  >>> a = r"foo\x20bar"
>  >>> print a
> foo\x20bar
>  >>> a = a.decode("string-escape")
>  >>> print a
> foo bar

Thanks ... I think in my original testing I tried decode() but it didn't 
work. Testing more ...

  the file has 2 lines:
   foo bar

and the program to read is:
f=file('in', 'r')
for a in f:
     a = a.strip()
     print list(a)

I get:

python read.py
[u'f', u'o', u'o', u' ', u'b', u'a', u'r']
[u'f', u'o', u'o', u'\\', u'x', u'2', u'0', u'b', u'a', u'r']

So, the \x20 is still literal.

Any other ideas??? I suppose I could write a re expression ... but 
surely that is not needed???

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