jsunicode
A JavaScript library for encoding/decoding unicode
Last updated 2 months ago by jeremyrann .
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JSUnicode

Overview

JSUnicode is a set of JavaScript utilities for handling Unicode. JSUnicode's capabilities include:

  • Encode JavaScript strings as Unicode in binary representations (such as byte arrays, hex strings, and more)
  • Decode binary representations into JavaScript strings
  • Create custom binary representations to interop with other systems
  • Convert between representations
  • Built-in support for 5 Unicode encodings:
    • UTF-8
    • UTF-16 Big Endian
    • UTF-16 Little Endian
    • UTF-32 Big Endian
    • UTF-32 Little Endian

JSUnicode is designed to be small (requiring no runtime dependencies) and to work in node.js or in a browser. See doc/api-reference.md for complete documentation. If you encounter any problems, please file an issue on JSUnicode's github issues page. If there is a feature missing, you may want to take a look at doc/roadmap.md to see if it is planned in the future. If you do have any feature requests, please file an issue even if it is planned on the roadmap; that will help prioritize new features.

Example Usage

There are many reasons you may wish to encode or decode data in Unicode, but here are a few examples of use cases that may be common.

Byte Count

Often, data persistence layers have limits on encoded data storage. For instance, a database may specify that it stores VARCHAR fields in a UTF-8 collation, and a particular field may have a 200-byte limit. If your application accepts a user-input string that will be stored in such a field, you may wish to inform the user how many characters they have left in real-time, but JavaScript's string.length will be insufficient for this case, which provides a "character count" of sorts.

This use case is sufficiently common for JSUnicode to come equipped with a convenience function to provide byte counts for particular encodings. For instance, to get the byte count of the variable myString, you might do something like:

var jsunicode = require("jsunicode");

var byteCount = jsunicode.countEncodedBytes(myString);

This will default to UTF-8. If you're interested in the UTF-16 byte count instead, you could do something like:

var jsunicode = require("jsunicode");

var byteCount = jsunicode.countEncodedBytes(myString, jsunicode.constants.encoding.utf16);

Read UTF-16BE File

Node.js buffers only support reading UTF-16 as Little Endian; JSUnicode can be used to handle UTF-16BE. For instance, you may use code like the following to read a UTF-16LE file using Node's built-in functionality:

var fs = require("fs");

fs.readFile("./myfile.txt", {
    encoding: "utf-16le"
}, function (err, contents) { console.log(contents); });

If you want to use JSUnicode to ready a UTF-16BE file, you might do something like this:

var fs = require("fs");
var jsunicode = require("jsunicode");

fs.readFile("./myfile.txt", function (err, contents) {
    console.log(jsunicode.decode(contents, {
        byteReader: jsunicode.constants.binaryFormat.buffer,
        encoding: jsunicode.constants.encoding.utf16be
    }));
});

Note that Byte order marks are now handled by JSUnicode. The default behavior should work for most cases, but refer to doc/api-reference.md for more.

Write UTF-16BE File

Similarly to the above example, it's also possible to take a string and write it to a UTF-16BE buffer (or any other binary format). A node example might look like:

var fs = require("fs");
var jsunicode = require("jsunicode");

fs.writeFile("./myfile.txt", jsunicode.encode(myString, {
    encoding: jsunicode.constants.encoding.utf16be,
    byteWriter: jsunicode.constants.binaryFormat.buffer
}), function (err) { console.log(err); })

For encoding, it's generally assumed that Byte Order Marks are not desired, so if you do want BOMs in your output, you may add for instance BOMBehavior: jsunicode.constants.BOMBehavior.auto to add BOMs for UTF-16. Again, see doc/api-reference.md for all the available options.

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