Record seperator

greymaus greymausg at
Sun Aug 28 06:03:13 EDT 2011

On 2011-08-27, Steven D'Aprano <steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> greymaus wrote:
>> On 2011-08-26, D'Arcy J.M. Cain <darcy at> wrote:
>>> On 26 Aug 2011 18:39:07 GMT
>>> greymaus <greymausg at> wrote:
>>>> Is there an equivelent for the AWK RS in Python?
>>>> as in RS='\n\n'
>>>> will seperate a file at two blank line intervals
>>> open("file.txt").read().split("\n\n")
>> Ta!.. bit awkard. :))))))
> Er, is that meant to be a pun? "Awk[w]ard", as in awk-ward?

Yup, mispelled it and realized th error :)
> In any case, no, the Python line might be a handful of characters longer
> than the AWK equivalent, but it isn't awkward. It is logical and easy to
> understand. It's embarrassingly easy to describe what it does:
> open("file.txt")   # opens the file
>  .read()           # reads the contents of the file
>  .split("\n\n")    # splits the text on double-newlines.
> The only tricky part is knowing that \n means newline, but anyone familiar
> with C, Perl, AWK etc. should know that.
> The Python code might be "long" (but only by the standards of AWK, which can
> be painfully concise), but it is simple, obvious and readable. A few extra
> characters is the price you pay for making your language readable. At the
> cost of a few extra key presses, you get something that you will be able to
> understand in 10 years time.
> AWK is a specialist text processing language. Python is a general scripting
> and programming language. They have different values: AWK values short,
> concise code, Python is willing to pay a little more in source code.

RS, and its Perl equivelent, which I forget, mean that you can read in
full multiline records. 

(I am coming into Python via Perl from AWK, and trying to get a grip
on the language and its idions)

Thanks to All

Oh, Awk is far more than a text processing language, may be old (like me!)
but useful (ditto)


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