gstring ~master

Grapheme-strings, unicode-capable strings which index by visible character position.

To use this package, run the following command in your project's root directory:

Manual usage
Put the following dependency into your project's dependences section:


Unicode strings can be difficult to work with, due to the multi-byte encoding per unicode code-point in UTF, as well as the fact that multiple code-points may be needed to show a glyph. Consider Unicode Combining Characters, which are code-points whose purpose is to modify other characters. For example, the letter R (U+0052) followed by the combining character ̆ (COMBINING BREVE, U+0306) produces the output .

Unicode Transformation Format (UTF) is a method of encoding unicode code-points in a variable byte format. In UTF-8, a single code-point can be encoded in one to four bytes. Bits are used to encoded to deliver a "payload", which is the unicode code-point.

Consider the following UTF-8 encodings for code-points:

No. BytesPayload BitsByte 1Byte 2Byte 3Byte 4

Following the previous example, the COMBINING BREVE character ̆ (U+0306) is encoded in 2 bytes as: 110_xxxxx 10_xxxxxx => 110_011-00 10_00-0110 => 0xcc 0x86

Putting everything together, the grapheme , composed of two unicode code-points (U+0052 and U+0306), encoded in a multi-byte encoding scheme like UTF-8, is represented as: 0xxxxxxx, 110_xxxxx + 10_xxxxxx => 01010010, 110_01100 + 10_000110 => 0x52, 0xcc + 0x86

While the usage of Unicode and UTF has many advantages, it also has many complications in terms of writing software. Consider the following kinds of operations which, if implemented on ASCII data, can be trivially solved by treating characters as arrays of individual characters:

  • Reversing the characters of a string.
  • Searching for a sub-string.
  • Embedding numbers in combined data + text binary formats.
  • Extracting a substring of a certain length, e.g. getting a 3-character suffix.


This library exists to provide a data structure which combines the expressive power of Unicode and UTF with the ability to write simple array-index-based algorithms, which are easy to perform on non-unicode data. The primary inspiration is the QString data type from the Qt framework, however, this type does not take into account graphemes with multiple code-points.


Simple array operations work on unicode strings, e.g. UTF-8, according to their visible character positions.

import gstring : CGString;
auto t1 = CGString("Test R̆ȧm͆b̪õ");
assert(t1.indexOf("ȧ") == 6);
assert(t1.indexOf("m̪") == -1);
t1[9] = "í";
assert(t1.toString() == "Test R̆ȧm͆b̪í");
  • Vijay Nayar
0.1.0 2023-Dec-26
~master 2023-Dec-27
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