String reboot - (1a) incidental whitespace

John Rose john.r.rose at
Thu Apr 18 23:55:22 UTC 2019

On Apr 17, 2019, at 1:07 PM, Guy Steele <guy.steele at> wrote:
> String s = “””
>            "    "I am 
>            "         a block of text"
>            “””;
> You have choices.  I’m not entirely sure I like such a design, but I’m putting it out there for contemplation.

Using the single quotes along the left margin looks intuitive to me,
more intuitive than putting in a separate margin character (like '|').

Would it be an error if the left-margin quotes were indented at
different levels?  Or would it be a feature (to be used sparingly
if ever)?

Same question if the left-margin quotes are indented differently
from the final close-quote.

Also, is a left-margin quote allowed immediately before the
close-quote?  Is it required?  If allowed and not required,
this basically means such a string can end with either three
or four close-quotes.

If we were to allow this noisy-and-explicit marker for
the left margin of the ML string, would we *also* want
the less-noisy-and-less-explicit mechanism of trimming
as much leading space as possible (the Jim and Brian
alignment)?  Would having two ways to express the
same thing be stylistic freedom, or just the awkward
product of a committee design?  If the latter, which
of the two designs do we prefer, slick and ambiguous
or clear and crusty?

— John

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