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You should put it in the Products space (a moderator moved it for you this time).
There are in fact spaces carriage returns in your VTL. They're quite explicit. Remember that VTL is not specifically designed for HTML output -- it could be used to output plain text. So whitespace is important by default. If you want to remove carriage returns from the final output, add a ## right before you hit enter.
Also: $fname.isEmpty() is a built-in method.