I'm submiting this patch for my Google Summer of Code application.
It's a basic implementation of the read builtin, with multiple variables, line-continuation, backslash escapes, and without options.
For the input parsing, it uses strtok instead of some C++/boost stuff as it doesn't have to split the entire line, and it easly leaves the rest of the line intact for the case where there are less variables than words.
Git formatted patch attached.
Created attachment 307849 [details, diff]
read builtin patch
Developer retired (and his mail address is not active anymore)