Emacs Lisp Toothpick Syndrome

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
xkcd comics backslashes 1638
http://xkcd.com/1638/

Here's a real world one.

emacs backslash xah--forward-real-double-quote 2016-02-03
5 backslashes.
emacs lisp toothpick syndrome 2016-02-03
10 backslashes. 〔Call describe-function on replace-match-maybe-edit, jump to source code to see.〕
emacs lisp toothpick syndrome emacs 24.5 reftex-vars.el
17 backslashes. From emacs-24.5/lisp/textmodes/reftex-vars.el , 〔To see it, M-x reftex-mode, then describe-variable on reftex-label-alist, jump to source.〕

For explanation of the above one, see 〔backslashitis By wasamasa. @ http://emacshorrors.com/posts/backslashitis.html

thanks to reddit discussion. https://www.reddit.com/r/emacs/comments/43zov2/todays_xkcd_reminds_me_of_emacs_lisp_regexes/

your regex brain
emacs lisp regex toothpick syndrome

For explanation of backslash in elisp regex, see Emacs Lisp: Regex Tutorial

See also: Problems of Symbol Congestion in Computer Languages; ASCII Jam vs Unicode

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