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The shlex module

This module provides a simple lexer (also known as tokenizer) for languages based on the Unix shell syntax.

Example: Using the shlex module
# File: shlex-example-1.py

import shlex

lexer = shlex.shlex(open("samples/sample.netrc", "r"))
lexer.wordchars = lexer.wordchars + "._"

while 1:
    token = lexer.get_token()
    if not token:
        break
    print repr(token)

'machine'
'secret.fbi'
'login'
'mulder'
'password'
'trustno1'
'machine'
'non.secret.fbi'
'login'
'scully'
'password'
'noway'