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>now I might have miscalculated it, but wouldn't the string 
>("1+"):rep(1e50) need
>200000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Gigabyte RAM? 

I didn't bother to calculate, but wouldn't the argument be "so give an error, not assume the programmer was a moron"

He probably was a moron, but that's not an excuse to give him back an empty string :P Give him an error so he knows he's being a moron and hopefully will learn from it.

Or at least document in the manual that this is the behavior of string.rep.

-- Matthew P. Del Buono a.k.a. Shirik