In the Octave language, most statements end with a newline character and
you must tell Octave to ignore the newline character in order to
continue a statement from one line to the next. Lines that end with the
\ are joined with the following line
before they are divided into tokens by Octave's parser. For example,
x = long_variable_name ... + longer_variable_name \ - 42
form a single statement. The backslash character on the second line above is interpreted as a continuation character, not as a division operator.
For continuation lines that do not occur inside string constants, whitespace and comments may appear between the continuation marker and the newline character. For example, the statement
x = long_variable_name ... # comment one + longer_variable_name \ # comment two - 42 # last comment
is equivalent to the one shown above. Inside string constants, the continuation marker must appear at the end of the line just before the newline character.
Input that occurs inside parentheses can be continued to the next line without having to use a continuation marker. For example, it is possible to write statements like
if (fine_dining_destination == on_a_boat || fine_dining_destination == on_a_train) seuss (i, will, not, eat, them, sam, i, am, i, will, not, eat, green, eggs, and, ham); endif
without having to add to the clutter with continuation markers.