File names with slashes [was Re: error in os.chdir]

Mikhail V mikhailwas at
Mon Jul 2 12:20:52 EDT 2018

[Richard Damon]

> The one major issue with backslashes is that they are a special
> character in string literals, so you either need to use raw literals a
> remember the few cases they still act as special characters, or remember
> to convert them to double back slashes, at a minimum for all the
> characters that they are special for (easier to double them all).

> I think it was originally an error to make the backslash followed by a
> character not defined as special with a backslash as keeping the
> backslash as a literal as it causes a number of these issues. Yes, it
> allows you to not need to double it in many cases but that just sets you
> up for the mistakes that started the thread. It is probably too late to
> change that behavior now though.

Yes this would at least make less mistakes.
I find the whole situation with strings a bit disappointing.
On the one hand - there were so many string types added, on the other
hand - there are still many inconveniences. There is an english proverb,
"it does too much, but still too little". (or something like that)

The initial string syntax -- I think it's direct copy of C strings syntax.
And it sucks. (path dependency?)

I'd say there should be just two main string types:
1. string literal where all special character goes into, say, figure braces {};
(if only there was a time machine)
2. raw strings, including multiline raw strings which should be PEP-8 compliant.

So Imo default syntax should be something like:

    S = "A:{x41}B:{x42}"

instead of backslashes and Co.

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