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From Jens Alfke <>
Subject Re: lexical error: invalid character inside string
Date Tue, 29 Jan 2013 17:46:57 GMT

On Jan 29, 2013, at 9:04 AM, Thomas Bock <> wrote:

>  curl -X PUT --data '{"a": "\r"}' --header "Content-Type: application/json" http://localhost:5984/r_test/ab7a

I think JSON does not allow literal returns/newlines (or other control characters) inside
strings; they have to be backslash-escaped. It’s hard to follow exactly what’s going on
through all the levels of quoting and unquoting that happen in the shell and in the Erlang
output, but I think you haven’t escaped that \r enough — it probably needs to be "\\\r".

FYI, as a side note, I’ve found the ‘httpie’[1] utility a lifesaver when talking to
CouchDB (and other REST/JSON APIs) from the command line. It’s like a souped-up curl with
a much clearer syntax for setting query parameters, and the ability to easily specify a JSON
body. For example, I can run your same command as:

	http PUT :5984/r_test/ab7a a='\r’


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