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15.5.18.8 How To Grok with Long Lines

The necessity of long messages can often lead to a cumbersome or unreadable coding style. Perl has several options that may prevent you from writing unreadable code, and xgettext does its best to do likewise. This is where the dot operator (the string concatenation operator) may come in handy:

     print gettext ("This is a very long"
                    . " message that is still"
                    . " readable, because"
                    . " it is split into"
                    . " multiple lines.\n");

Perl is smart enough to concatenate these constant string fragments into one long string at compile time, and so is xgettext. You will only find one long message in the resulting POT file.

Note that the future Perl 6 will probably use the underscore (‘_’) as the string concatenation operator, and the dot (‘.’) for dereferencing. This new syntax is not yet supported by xgettext.

If embedded newline characters are not an issue, or even desired, you may also insert newline characters inside quoted strings wherever you feel like it:

     print gettext ("<em>In HTML output
     embedded newlines are generally no
     problem, since adjacent whitespace
     is always rendered into a single
     space character.</em>");

You may also consider to use here documents:

     print gettext <<EOF;
     <em>In HTML output
     embedded newlines are generally no
     problem, since adjacent whitespace
     is always rendered into a single
     space character.</em>
     EOF

Please do not forget that the line breaks are real, i.e. they translate into newline characters that will consequently show up in the resulting POT file.