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As a user, I don't expect the whitespace on either side of the equals sign to change the value of the key or the value. See this related question on unix.SE as too how confusing the situation can be. Don't make it harder on your users, trim whitespace from both the key and the value. If leading whitespace has a real use case for either, then let the user ...


It's up to you to define the rules for your app. For instance, you may define that: Whitespace before or after the equality sign is ignored, Whitespace inside the key is forbidden, Whitespace inside the value can be used only if the value is enclosed in quotes, so: say-hello = Hello, World! is forbidden, while: say-hello = "Hello, World!" is ...

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