The “Hello World” from Hell, with exponential backslashes!

April 21, 2009 at 7:35 pm 1 comment

print eval("\"He\"+eval(\"\\\"ll\\\"+eval(\\\"\\\\\\\"o \\\\\\\"+eval(\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Wo\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\\\\")+\\\\\\\"r\\\\\\\"\\\")+\\\"l\\\"\")+\"d\"")

All those backslashes are escaping each other, in order to escape the “.

To explain: in Python, the eval() statement evaluates a string as source code. eval(“5”) returns 5. Of course, this leads to messiness when you nest eval()s. For example: eval(“[5, eval(\”4\”)]”) returns [5, 4].
Further reading: “Escape Artist” by our good friend xkcd.

But look at that code at the top of the post. Couldn’t we automate the process of typing up all those backslashes?

Note the two print statements at the bottom. With the first uncommented, as it is now, the program prints: (note the tiny horizontal scrollbar)

With the first line commented out, and the second commented, you get the above mess interpreted as source code:
Hello World

Oh, the difference that an eval() makes.


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. fublag  |  April 21, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    From #xkcd:
    <Randall> At least
    <Randall> it wasn’t lisp nesting
    Don’t tempt me, I’ve been meaning to learn Scheme!


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