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 > > My apologies if this is the wrong place to suggest this, but how about 
 > > adding a keyed format specifier for string.format? ...
 > This would be pretty easily done w/:
 > string.gsub("%(foo)s  = %(bar)d", "%%%(([^)]+)%)", {foo =  "variable", 
 > bar = 22})
 > you could abstract it a bit...

This is very nearly one of the examples in Roberto's book, which you
should rush out and buy!