Creating formatted output using picture strings

Grant Edwards invalid at invalid.invalid
Wed Feb 10 21:40:41 CET 2010

On 2010-02-10, ssteinerX at <ssteinerx at> wrote:
> On Feb 10, 2010, at 2:57 PM, Grant Edwards wrote:
>> On 2010-02-10, python at <python at> wrote:
>> [regardning "picture" output format specifiers]
>>> I was thinking that there was a built-in function for this
>>> common(?) use case
>> I haven't seen that paradigm since my one-and-only exposure to
>> COBOL in a class I took back in 1979.  Is the "picture" thing
>> commonly used in other places than COBOL?
> Seriously?


> I've seen it in dozens places other than COBOL over the years
> in everything from templating languages to report generators,
> to built-in support in a variety of languages (dBASE II
> anyone?).
> Haven't you ever had to get a e.g. a phone number or social
> security number from user input?

Nope.  I guess it's specific to certain application areas. I've
never done any database type stuff.  I do mostly embedded,
device drivers, networking/protocols, industrial automation,
Unix system admin/automation, and scientific visualization.

Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow! I once decorated my
                                  at               apartment entirely in ten
                                 foot salad forks!!

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