SPUG: using ActivePerl coming from UNIX land
David Innes (CSG)
davidinnes at chicagoscience.com
Thu Dec 23 02:16:46 CST 2004
Is the abilitye to use the "wrong slash-angle" an ActivePerl enhancement or
a standard Perl feature?
And Mark Schul said:
I think this derives from M$ C, as path names in C could use forward
slashes (although it has been a while since I had anything to do with that
platform/language combination). There must some interesting parsing rules
to allow filenames - in C - to include embedded backslashes...
Hmm. After Googling around a bit it looks like...
a) You have to escape backslashes in pathnames in C (e.g. "c:\\tmp"), or ...
b) Evidently, going as far back as MS-DOS, you can forward slashes in system
function calls (e.g. "c:/tmp"). Backslashes are required only on the
command line itself. You still run into that with Perl's System() function.
It chokes if you try something like system("c:/test.bat"). You have to use
system("c:\\test.bat") or system('c:\test.bat')instead. So...
c) ActivePerl may just inherit the functionality from C and/or the
In other words C is still C under Windows but at least the OS is smart
enough to recognize forward slashes in system calls. (Everyone who agrees
this is dumb should take a minute to ritually curse IBM. They could have
adopted Microsoft's fully-functional, already commercially-released Unix
operating system for the original PC. Instead IBM asked for a brand-new
16-bit OS -- in a hurry -- and told Microsoft not to bother implementing
subdirectories because "we're only going to sell a few thousand of these
things and anyone who wants useful things like subdirectories will buy one
of our 'real' computers." Of course if IBM *had* done the smart thing
everyone would be grousing about Gates for making it hard to switch from
Unix to TorvolDOS. :-))
-- David Innes
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