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Procrustean string

<programming> A fixed-length string. If a string value is too long for the allocated space, it is truncated to fit; and if it is shorter, the empty space is padded, usually with space characters.

This is an allusion to Procrustes, a legendary robber of ancient Attica. He bound his victims to a bed, and if they were shorter than the bed, he stretched their limbs until they would fit; if their limbs were longer, he lopped them off.

(1997-09-12)


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