Whitespace, continuation, and quoted strings in conf files

Todd Olson tco2 at cornell.edu
Mon Jun 26 15:15:00 UTC 2000

Hi Russ

>Lines inside a quoted string can be continued by ending them with a
>backslash; any whitespace after the backslash before the end of the line
>is ignored (I learned from hard experience that giving significance to
>trailing whitespace is just asking for trouble in hand-edited files).
>Similarly, I agree that any leading whitespace on the next line should
>similarly be ignored.  Whitespace *before* the line-ending backslash is
>included as part of the string, so if you want to give a parameter the
>value "two words" using a continuation line, this will work:
>    parameter: "two \
>                words"
>A continuation does *not* introduce a newline into the string; to do that,
>use \n.

I infer (and I think it is a good thing!!) that

     param:  "line one \
           \n line two"

is the same as

     param:  "line one \n line two"

I fear that future readers of the statement

   "leading whitespace on the next line should similarly be ignored"

might missunderstand and feel that the digrap \n should be stripped as well.
To avoid that missunderstanding, perhaps the documentation should 
explicitly mention this example?????

Todd Olson
Cornell University

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