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[bug #35063] Suggest conventional $(%XX) syntax for special characters

From: David Boyce
Subject: [bug #35063] Suggest conventional $(%XX) syntax for special characters
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2011 02:27:54 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/535.2 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/15.0.874.121 Safari/535.2


                 Summary: Suggest conventional $(%XX) syntax for special
                 Project: make
            Submitted by: boyski
            Submitted on: Wed 14 Dec 2011 02:27:53 AM GMT
                Severity: 3 - Normal
              Item Group: Enhancement
                  Status: None
                 Privacy: Public
             Assigned to: None
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
       Component Version: CVS
        Operating System: Any
           Fixed Release: None
           Triage Status: None



This idea seems too obvious to not have been brought up before but I haven't
seen it and it seems both helpful and easy to implement so here goes. There's
a lot of clever trickery around for inserting special characters in make
syntax, e.g. the famous

_empty :=
_space := $(_empty) $(_empty)

So why not support a special syntax for "predefined" variables which uses URL
encoding? With this feature, a space would be $(%20) and a backslash $(%5C),
etc. The "." namespace is already reserved for internal variables, e.g.
$(.DEFAULT_GOAL), so the same could be done for the "%" namespace with a low
likelihood of breaking anything. Or, to be perfectly safe, it could be placed
in the "." namespace as in $(.%20).

Just to be clear, what I'm suggesting here would be a simple token replacement
which requires no actual use of the symbol table. Whenever the sequence
"$(%XX)" is encountered while doing variable evaluation it's replaced by its
character equivalent.

The primary use would be for single characters but I see no reason url-encoded
strings couldn't be allowed. As long as the variable string starts with % (or
.%), the whole thing is replaced by its url-decoded equivalent.


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