[e-lang] Unquoted backslashes for identifier escapes?

Kevin Reid kpreid at mac.com
Thu Jan 15 08:48:37 CST 2009

The ::"foo bar" syntax for noun strings is rather ugly and not well- 

How about, replacing the current noun-string and verb-string, allowing  
backslash escapes in identifiers, which would work uniformly rather  
than being different for nouns and verbs?

That is:

Current                New
::"foo bar"            foo\ bar
c."add(Component)"(d)  c.add\(Component\)(d)

Actually, I can think of one disadvantage already: the quote syntax  
permits the empty string, whereas backslashes need at least one  
character to escape. Not that it's *sensible* to use the empty string  
for an identifier, but the regularity is good.

Common Lisp uses essentially this approach for symbol names -- the  
escaping is uniform -- but it has a "multiple escape" which is  
essentially quotes:

add\(Component\)   single escape
|add(Component)|   multiple escape
||                 empty-string-named symbol using multiple escape

What comes to mind to have such a syntax in E is:

\"foo bar"

But that is rather peculiar and inconsistent with other uses of  

Kevin Reid                            <http://homepage.mac.com/kpreid/>

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