turns out the cheetah python templating engine (2.0 since year 2006) is quite reminiscent of fortran (since the 1950’s) in their use of the #slurp directive (cheetah) and the $ string. either one, when appended to the end of a string, remove the implicit newline which usually gets printed. it took me ages to figure out how to suppress newline printing back when i did someone’s fortran homework, now i’ve had to struggle with it all over again.
i’m not a language designer, but it never seemed like the best idea to me! but what do i know? i hope this saves someone an hour of searching.