Text manipulation with GAMAP
Text strings in IDL
We may form a string of text characters in IDL either with the IDL's string function, or by placing the text between single quotes or double quotes. For example:
IDL> str1 = 'hello world' IDL> help, str1 STR1 STRING = 'hello world' IDL> num2 = 3.14159 IDL> str2 = string( num2 ) IDL> help, str2 STR2 STRING = ' 3.14159'
Equivalence of strings and byte arrays
In IDL, a string of text characters is equivalent to an array of byte values. A byte is a collection of 8 bits and may express values from 0-255. The ASCII collating sequence has 255 values. (Actually, the original ASCII table had 128 values, but this was later extended to 255 values to include special characters.) One byte represents a single ASCII text character.
This means that it is easy to convert between strings and bytes in IDL. If you have an array of bytes, you can use any of the IDL string routines on them, for example:
IDL> byte_array = [ 72B, 69B, 76B, 76B, 79B ] IDL> help, byte_array BYTE_ARRAY BYTE = Array IDL> print, strtrim( byte_array, 2 ) HELLO
GAMAP comes with a very useful routine called str2byte.pro. This allows you to take a text string and to convert it into the equivalent array of bytes.
IDL> str = 'IDL is neat!' IDL> byte_array = str2byte( str, strlen( str ) ) IDL> help, byte_array BYTE_ARRAY BYTE = Array IDL> print, byte_array 73 68 76 32 105 115 32 110 101 97 116 33
Note that we used IDL's STRLEN function to return the length of the string.
Representing special characters
We must specify some special non-printing ASCII characters with their byte value. For exaaple, the horizontal tab character is the 9th character in the ASCII table, so we may specify that as:
IDL> tab = 9B IDL> help, tab TAB BYTE = 9 IDL> str = 'hello' + string(tab) + 'world' IDL> print, str hello world
For more information about IDL's string functions, please see http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/idl_html_help/Strings.html.
Replacing characters in a string
IDL's STRPUT function is one way to insert characters into a string of text:
IDL> str1 = 'Now is the winter of our discontent' IDL> strput, str1, 'summer', 11 IDL> print, str1 Now is the summer of our discontent
However, this requires that you provide the location in the string where the text replacement will take place. In the above example, we insert the text at character 11 (the 1st character in a string is always character 0).
The above task is much more easily accomplished with GAMAP's REPLACE_TOKEN function:
IDL> str1 = 'Now is the winter of our discontent' IDL> str2 = replace_token( str1, 'winter', 'summer', delim= ) IDL> print, str2 Now is the summer of our discontent
With REPLACE_TOKEN you do not need to know the position in the string where the replacement text will be inserted.
GAMAP also has another function called STRREPL that allows you to replace multiple instances of a single character in a string. For example:
IDL> print, strrepl( 'Mississippi', 'i', 'a' ) Massassappa
But if you need to replace an entire word rather than just single characters it's better to use REPLACE_TOKEN.
String inquiry functions
GAMAP ships with the following string inquiry functions:
- Locates the position of algebraic characters in a string (e.g. locations that are EITHER digits '.' OR +/- signs).
- Locates the position of alphanumeric characters ( A...Z, a...z, 0..9 ) in a string.
- Locates the positions of alphabetic characters ( A...Z, a...z ) in a string.
- Locates the positions of numeric characters ( '0' ... '9') in a string.
- Locates the positions of graphics characters (i.e. printable characters excluding SPACE) in a string.
- Locates the positions of lowercase alphabetic characters in a string.
- Locates the positions of all printable characters (including SPACE) in a string.
- Locates the positions of all white space characters in a string.
- Locates the positions of all uppercase alphabetic characters in a string.
Each of the above routines return a vector of 0's and 1's, corresponding to each character in the string that satisfies the given criteria.
IDL> str = '#99# Bottles of *Beer* on the Wall!'
IDL> print, isalgebraic( str ), format='(35i1)' 01100000000000000000000000000000000
IDL> print, isalnum( str ), format='(35i1)' 01100111111101100111100110111011110
IDL> print, isalpha( str ), format='(35i1)' 00000111111101100111100110111011110
IDL> print, isdigit( str ), format='(35i1)' 01100000000000000000000000000000000
IDL> print, isgraph( str ), format='(35i1)' 11110111111101101111110110111011111
IDL> print, islower( str ), format='(35i1)' 00000011111101100011100110111001110
IDL> print, isprint( str ), format='(35i1)' 11111111111111111111111111111111111
IDL> print, isspace( str ), format='(35i1)' 00001000000010010000001001000100000
IDL> print, isupper( str ), format='(35i1)' 00000100000000000100000000000010000