Bugs That Bite
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Bugs That Bite

SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal

Error in a line with a python escape character

I’m writing a json template parser in python and go the following error:

SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal

The problem was that I was checking for a backslash in a string like this:

if line.startswith(“[\”):

The backslash is an escape character used in front of special characters within string so they will be processed correctly. For example, let’s say you want to print out a string with quotes in it like this:

The word is "test".

You need to escape the double quotes if they are inside a string wrapped in double quotes:

variable="The word is \"test\"."

Now returning to my string the command I was trying to process, python thinks that I’m trying to escape the second string instead of end the string.

if line.startswith("[\"):

In order to correctly interpret the the bracket and backslash I would need to escape the backslash itself with another backslash.

if line.startswith("[\\")

That causes the backslash to be processed as a backslash character instead of an escape character in front of a quote.

Teri Radichel

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Teri Radichel

Teri Radichel

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