[swift-evolution] multi-line string literals

Chris Lattner clattner at apple.com
Wed Dec 16 12:47:54 CST 2015

On Dec 16, 2015, at 10:34 AM, Jordan Rose via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
>> IOW, 'x' where x must be a Character, that is, an extended Unicode
>> grapheme cluster — represented in the source code as UTF8 or with the \u
>> notation. A shortcut for typing Character("x").
> We actually had this at one point, but it turned out that sometimes you wanted a Character and sometimes a UnicodeScalar, and in both cases your algorithm was probably wrong (cf. String is no longer a CollectionType). At that point it didn't offer any benefits over just regular string syntax, and it freed up the syntax for something else.
> There's a fair amount of precedent for single-quoted strings being:
> - single characters (C, Java, C#)
> - unprocessed strings (shell scripts, Ruby)
> - exactly the same as double-quoted strings (Python)
> I (personally) wouldn't want them for multi-line literals, though.

I agree that this would be weird syntax for multi-line literals:

let x = ‘
more stuff’

On the other hand, It could be a reasonable design to say that ‘xyz’ strings are a dual to “xyz” strings that disable escape expansion.  If you did that, then you could end up with a world where multi-line strings could be either:

let x = “””
stuff with\tescapes \(42)


let x = ‘''
escapes\(42)not processed!\n

Please ignore the “smart” quotes above :-)

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