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Ruby Programming
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General Delimited Input

There are alternative forms of literal strings, arrays, regular expressions, and shell commands that are specified using a generalized delimited syntax. All these literals start with a percent character, followed by a single character that identifies the literal's type. These characters are summarized in Table 18.1 on page 200; the actual literals are described in the corresponding sections later in this chapter.

General delimited input
Type Meaning See Page
%q Single-quoted string 202
%Q, % Double-quoted string 202
%w Array of tokens 204
%r Regular expression pattern 205
%x Shell command 218

Following the type character is a delimiter, which can be any character. If the delimiter is one of the characters ``('', ``['', ``{'', or ``<'', the literal consists of the characters up to the matching closing delimiter, taking account of nested delimiter pairs. For all other delimiters, the literal comprises the characters up to the next occurrence of the delimiter character.

%q/this is a string/
%q(a (nested) string)

Delimited strings may continue over multiple lines.

%q{def fred(a)
     a.each { |i| puts i }

Ruby Programming
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