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

Richard Damon Richard at
Mon Jul 2 13:16:28 EDT 2018

On 7/2/18 9:20 AM, Mikhail V wrote:
> [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.

Yes, the backslash notation is just like what C uses (an likely the
source of it). The exact same problem pops up in the C forums too. Not
sure where it got the notation from.

Richard Damon

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