String interpolation

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String interpolation is a form of Quasi-quotation, common in many programming languages which make heavy use of string representations of data, such as Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, Scala, Nemerle etc. It means to insert a string or replace a variable with its value. It makes string formatting and specifying contents more intuitive.[1]

Examples[edit]

PHP[edit]

<?php
$str = <<<EOD
Example of string
spanning multiple lines
using heredoc syntax.
EOD;
 
class foo
{
    var $foo;
    var $bar;
 
    function foo()
    {
        $this->foo = 'Foo';
        $this->bar = array('Bar1', 'Bar2', 'Bar3');
    }
}
 
$foo = new foo();
$name = 'Jason';
 
echo <<<EOT
My name is "$name". I am printing some $foo->foo.
Now, I am printing some {$foo->bar[1]}.
This should print a capital 'A': \x41
EOT;
?>

The output will be:

My name is "Jason". I am printing some Foo.
Now, I am printing some Bar2.
This should print a capital 'A': A

Perl[edit]

my $apples = 4;
print "I have $apples apples\n";

The output will be:

I have 4 apples

Ruby[edit]

apples = 4
puts "I have #{apples} apples"
# or
puts "I have %s apples" % apples

The output will be:

I have 4 apples

BOO[edit]

apples = 4
print("I have $(apples) apples")
// or
print("I have {0} apples" % apples)

The output will be:

I have 4 apples

CoffeeScript[edit]

apples = 4
console.log "I have #{apples} apples"

The output will be:

I have 4 apples

Python[edit]

apples = 4
print "I have %d apples" % apples
# or in newer versions:
print "I have {} apples".format(apples)
print "I have {a} apples".format(a=apples)

The output will be:

I have 4 apples

LISP[edit]

Using strings:

(print (format t "I have ~D apples" 4))

The output will be:

I have 4 apples

We can also generalise this to arbitrary (non-string) LISP expressions, known as s-expressions. The equivalent of string interpolation for s-expressions is quasi-quotation, for example:

(let ((num 4))
     (quasiquote (I have (unquote num) apples)))

This results in the s-expression (I have 4 apples), where "I", "have", "4" and "apples" are symbols (i.e. identifiers), rather than strings.

Dart[edit]

int apples = 4, bananas = 3;
print('I have $apples apples');
print('I have ${apples+bananas} fruits');

The output will be:

I have 4 apples
I have 7 fruits

Nemerle[edit]

def apples = 4;
def bananas = 3;
Console.WriteLine($"I have $apples apples");
Console.WriteLine($"I have $(apples + bananas) fruits");

You can also use advanced formatting features like this:

def fruits = ["apple", "banana"];
Console.WriteLine($<#I have ..$(fruits; "\n"; f => f + "s")#>);

The output will be:

apples
bananas

Security issues[edit]

String Interpolation, like string concatenation, may lead to security problems. When failed to properly escape or filter user input data, system will expose to SQL injection, script injection, XML External Entity Injection (XXE), and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.[2]

An example of SQL injection will be like this:

query = "SELECT x, y, z FROM Table WHERE id='$id' "

If $id is replaced with "'; DELETE FROM Table; SELECT * FROM Table WHERE id='", executing this query will wipe out all the data in Table.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]