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> I'd like to ask whether this quotation improvement is guaranteed or
> not to work in Lua:
> output:write ((string.gsub (string.format ("bootstrap_image = %q",
> binary), "\\000", "\0")))

To my knowledge, yes.
But I don't get the point to use the %q format modifier along with
that substitution.
If you really want the shortest possible result, you can just use a
long string like in:

output:write (string.format ("bootstrap_image = [=[%s]=]", binary))

After having verified that neither [=[ nor ]=] appear in binary (or
test dynamically the number of = signs to use).