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Remove unprintable ascii values

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  • Remove unprintable ascii values

    I often deal with data extracted from other systems which I then manipulate in Alpha. I recently found a need to strip out non-printable ascii codes from this data that caused stritran() to stumble. This function substitutes a space character for ascii codes " 32 and " 126, preserving line position sequence of printable characters.

    FUNCTION blank_noprint AS C (Input_String AS C )
    If input_string = ""
    end
    End if
    cblob = char_to_blob(Input_String)
    Output_string = ""
    For i = 1 to cblob.size()
    Output_String = Output_String + if(between(asc(cblob.peekc(i,1)),32,126),cblob.peekc(i,1)," ")
    Next i
    blank_noprint = Output_String
    END FUNCTION
    There can be only one.

  • #2
    RE: Remove unprintable ascii values

    Stan, this is a terrific idea for a function. I have many times had data come in with carriage returns and line feeds embedded. Is your use of using a blob and peek because it is faster?
    Cole Custom Programming - Terrell, Texas
    972 524 8714
    martin_w_cole@msn.com

    ____________________
    "A young man who is not liberal has no heart, but an old man who is not conservative has no mind." GB Shaw

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    • #3
      RE: Remove unprintable ascii values

      I worked with the blob functions because the stritran() and similar would not function on the whole of a string containing some embedded non-printable ascii codes. Rather than using a hex editor to diagnose the problem I found that they did not cause the same problem when parsed singly from a blob.

      -- if that makes any sense

      As usual I only tested the function on the data I was working with at the time and the function is worth very little more than what it costs you.

      Glad you may find it of some use.
      There can be only one.

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      • #4
        RE: Remove unprintable ascii values

        FYI,

        I employed a similar technique to help clean up memo fields.
        Only diff was I had to write / and read back from a file.

        Posted as Memo Field Repair scripts in this same forum.

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        • #5
          RE: Remove unprintable ascii values

          I seem to recall that and it was probably the inspiration for my effort without my clearly remembering it. Thanks.
          There can be only one.

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          • #6
            RE: Remove unprintable ascii values

            While studying some other code from the archive I noticed that Jim Chapman used the string-to-blob-to-string technique as well in his excellent Compare two databases for differences script. Thanks to both of you for the insight.
            There can be only one.

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            • #7
              RE: Remove unprintable ascii values

              Hi Stan,

              I use base64encode() to do this

              You can then use base64decode() to convert it back again

              regards,

              Mike
              Mike Thomson

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