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Multi-line Strings in Java

Posted 2005 Jun 01
One big annoyance with Java is the lack of any way to use multi-line strings like a HERE document. No doubt Java is often used to query a database, yet a developer has to take a SQL statement and re-write it with “s and +s, like so:
select sysdate
from dual
String sql =
"select sysdate "+
"from dual";
Don’t forget the extra spaces! This is fine until your SQL statement becomes larger (which it will). While searching for a better way to handle this, I came upon the bug report at Sun for this issue. Here is Sun’s response to this issue:

This is yet another request for a syntactic sugar to save some user from typing. It’s not worth it.

Wow. Thanks for the understanding… No wonder people are looking for alternatives. Even Groovy supports Python-style multi-line strings! One possibility I found is Java+, a pre-processor. It integrates well with Ant and does its job, but source-code management becomes complicated—especially if you’re using an IDE.

If Sun finally broke down and added printf, the least it could do is consider adding multi-line strings.

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