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Q&A

Path separator for Atom / JavaScript on Windows

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I have developed an Atom package which calls SyncTeX (a utility for reverse lookup for LaTeX), and then opens in Atom the file specified in the SyncTeX response. I'm developing on Linux, but now a user on Windows tells me that this doesn't work.

In detail: SyncTeX returns a pathname like C:\data\tex\main.tex, with Windows-appropriate backslash separators. My package then calls atom.workspace.open with exactly that returned string, which leads to a JavaScript error (file not found).

(Note that escaping should not be a problem, since this string is not a literal but extracted from an external program's output.)

Strangely, if the string is modified to use forward slashes instead, C:/data/tex/main.tex, the call works and the file is opened.

My questions:

  1. Is this behavior specific to Atom, or to some underlying technology (JavaScript, Electron, Node, ...)? I was unable to find any documentation on this.

  2. Since the replacement \/ is apparently necessary, is there a preferred way to implement it? Would a simple String.replace be adequate?

  3. Do I risk breaking compatibility with other platforms if I always do the replacement?

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