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Escaping ampersand

2487 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Jun 18, 2010 12:02 AM by taylor.henderson RSS
taylor.henderson Level 2 Level 2 (450 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 17, 2010 10:28 PM
Hi all.

I can run the following in a shell script and escape the ampersand with a backslash

*open -a Firefox\&passwd=myPass*

In applescript the following gives me a syntax error. _Expected """ but found unknown token_

*do shell script "open -a Firefox\&passwd=myPass"*

Attempting to use "quoted form of" has also not worked. I though "\" escaped any character after it? Am I missing something here? Thanks in advance.
applebook, Mac OS X (10.5.8), the white one
  • Camelot Level 8 Level 8 (45,670 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 17, 2010 11:59 PM (in response to taylor.henderson)
    This is a common issue.

    Both the shell and AppleScript use the backslash to escape characters - in the shell's case it tells the shell to pass the next character as-is.

    The issue you're running into is that AppleScript is jumping in and seeing the slash, which it also interprets as 'pass the next character as-is', so it strips the slash and passes the ampersand to the shell which, of course, treats it as it normally would since it is no longer escaped.

    The solution is simple, though - double-escape the ampersand. The first slash will be interpreted by AppleScript to tell it to pass the next character (the second slash) to the shell. The shell then sees a single backslash which it interprets as an escape of the ampersand. Voila!

    do shell script "open -a Firefox\\&passwd =myPass"

    (Note that if Firefox is your default web browser you can just use the simpler form:

    open location ""

    which avoids the whole escaping issue altogether.)

    Message was edited by: Camelot
    Mac OS X (10.6.3)


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