String#[]

This must be a common newbie question, but I can’t find the answer.

Why does string#[] return an ASCII code, rather than a character?

“abc”[1,2] #-> “bc”
“abc”[1…2] #-> “bc”
“abc”[1] #-> 98

On 26.09.2006 15:02, Newbie wrote:

This must be a common newbie question, but I can’t find the answer.

Why does string#[] return an ASCII code, rather than a character?

“abc”[1,2] #-> “bc”
“abc”[1…2] #-> “bc”
“abc”[1] #-> 98

Because there is no character class in Ruby. If you need a one
character string you can do

irb(main):001:0> “abc”[2,1]
=> “c”
irb(main):002:0> “abc”[2].chr
=> “c”

I guess the former is more performant because the internal buffer can be
shared.

Kind regards

robert

On Tue, 26 Sep 2006 22:06:18 +0900
Newbie [email protected] wrote:

This must be a common newbie question, but I can’t find the answer.

Why does string#[] return an ASCII code, rather than a character?

“abc”[1,2] #-> “bc”
“abc”[1…2] #-> “bc”
“abc”[1] #-> 98

It tells you why in “ri String#[]”:

``
Element Reference—If passed a single +Fixnum+, returns the code
of the character at that position. If passed two +Fixnum+ objects,
returns a substring starting at the offset given by the first, and
a length given by the second. If given a range, a substring
containing characters at offsets given by the range is returned.
‘’

– Thomas A.

Why not a 1-character string?

Robert K. wrote:

This must be a common newbie question, but I can’t find the answer.

Why does string#[] return an ASCII code, rather than a character?

“abc”[1,2] #-> “bc”
“abc”[1…2] #-> “bc”
“abc”[1] #-> 98

Because there is no character class in Ruby.

That answers what?, which I already knew. I’m asking why?

On Sep 26, 2006, at 11:15 AM, Newbie wrote:

Why not a 1-character string?

Ruby will work this way in the future.

James Edward G. II

Newbie wrote:

Why not a 1-character string?

A one-character string isn’t a character, because a string has the
properties of an array. A character (if there were such a thing in Ruby)
cannot be expanded into two or more characters as a string can.

When you reference a string with a single index, you get back a
character
code, but this is as close to a character or character class as exists
in
Ruby.

Newbie [email protected] writes:

Element Reference—If passed a single +Fixnum+, returns the code
of the character at that position. If passed two +Fixnum+ objects,
returns a substring starting at the offset given by the first, and
a length given by the second. If given a range, a substring
containing characters at offsets given by the range is returned.
‘’
– Thomas A.

That answers what?, which I already knew. I’m asking why?

Probably because a one-character String is 22 bytes and a Fixnum is
4 (on 32-bit archs).

As James said, a future version of Ruby will return a one-character
string in that case. In the meantime if you are just doing
comparisons you can use the Ruby character literal syntax:

next if line[0] == ?#

Steve

On Sep 26, 2006, at 12:15 PM, Newbie wrote:

Why not a 1-character string?

Even if String#[index] returned a 1-character string, you would still
want a way to extract individual code-points/bytes. Right now you have:

s[i..i]		# substring starting at position i of length 1
s[i]	 	# code-point at position i

I think in future Ruby versions it is going to be something like:

s[i..i]		# substring starting at position i of length 1
s[i]		# same as s[i..i]
s.byte(i)	# code-point at position i

I’m guessing at String#byte. I know I read something about that but I
couldn’t find a reference right away.

Anyway, as I understand it, the concept of ‘character’ or even
‘position’
is pretty complicated in a fully i18n world (such as with Unicode).

Gary W.

[email protected] wrote:

I think in future Ruby versions it is going to be something like:

In 1.9 it’s #ord:

1.8:
‘a’[0] # => 97
‘a’[0,1] # => a
‘a’[0…0] # => a

1.9:
‘a’[0] # => a
‘a’.ord # => 97

Regards,
Jordan

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