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Sys.command and quotes
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Date: 2009-05-05 (09:44)
From: Olivier Andrieu <oandrieu@n...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] Sys.command and quotes
On Tue, May 5, 2009 at 10:58, Matthieu Dubuget
<> wrote:
> Hello,
> I have a problem with mingw version of ocaml (compiled by hand, or with
> godi).
> 1- Is the following reproducible?
> 2- If yes, do you consider this as a bug?
> It seems that in "Sys.command s", if the first and the last characters of s
> are '"', they are elided?

that's probably just the Windows command interpreter behaviour.
Sys.command calls the C library system() function which ends up
calling CMD.EXE. This one has an utterly byzantine behavior concerning
quotations marks.


« Processing quotation marks

If you specify /c or /k, cmd processes the remainder of string and
quotation marks are preserved only if all of the following conditions
are met:

    * You do not use /s.
    * You use exactly one set of quotation marks.
    * You do not use any special characters within the quotation marks
(for example: &<>( ) @ ^ |).
    * You use one or more white-space characters within the quotation marks.
    * The string within quotation marks is the name of an executable file.

If the previous conditions are not met, string is processed by
examining the first character to verify whether or not it is an
opening quotation mark. If the first character is an opening quotation
mark, it is stripped along with the closing quotation mark. Any text
following the closing quotation marks is preserved.

IIRC a sort of workaround is to always add extra " in your command line:
  go ["\"" ; .... ; "\""]

good luck