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11. Characters and Strings

1. Introduction

I have only explained about lists and numbers, because they are most frequently used in Scheme. Scheme has, however, other data types such as characters, strings, symbols, vectors so on, which I am going to explain in chapters 11—14.

First, I will explain about characters and strings in this chapter.

2. Characters

Adding #\ before the character indicates that it is a character. For instance, #\a means the character a. Characters #\Space, #\Tab, #\Linefeed, and #\Return represent space, tab, linefeed, and return, respectively.

Following functions about characters are defined in the R5RS.

(char? obj)
It returns #t if obj is a character.
(char=? c1 c2)
It returns #t if c1 and c2 are the same character.
(char->integer c)
It converts c to the corresponding integer (character code).
Example: (char->integer #\a) ⇒ 97
(integer->char n)
It converts an integer to the corresponding character.
(char<? c1 c2),
(char<=? c1, c2),
(char> c1 c2),
(char>= c1 c2)
These functions compare characters. Actually, the functions compare the size of the character codes.
For instance, (char<? c1 c2) is equal to (< (char->integer c1) (char->integer c2)) .
(char-ci=? c1 c2),
(char-ci<? c1 c2),
(char-ci<=? c1 c2),
(char-ci>? c1 c2),
(char-ci>=? c1 c2)
These functions compare characters without case sensitivity.
(char-alphabetic? c),
(char-numeric? c),
(char-whitespace? c),
(char-upper-case? c),
(char-lower-case? c)
These functions return #t if c is alphabetic, numerical, blank, cap, and lower-case, respectively
(char-upcase c),
(char-downcase c)
These functions returns corresponding cap/lower if c is lower/cap. If not they returns c itself.

3. Strings

Strings are enclosed by double quotation marks. For instance, "abc" represents the string abc.

Following functions are about strings defined in the R5RS.

(string? s)
It returns #t if s is a string.
(make-string n c)
It returns a string consisting of n of characters c. The character c can be omitted.
(string-length s)
It returns the length of a string s.
(string=? s1 s2)
It returns #t if strings s1 and s2 are the same.
(string-ref s idx)
It returns the idx-th character (counting from 0) of a string s.
(string-set! s idx c)
It sets the idx-th character of a string s to c.
(substring s start end)
It returns a substring of s consisting of characters from start to (end-1).
(substring "abcdefg" 1 4) ⇒ "bcd"
(string-append s1 s2 ...)
It connects strings s1, s2 ....
(string->list s)
It converts a string s to a list of characters.
(list->string ls)
It converts a list of characters (ls) to a string.
(string-copy s)
It copies a string s.

Exercise 1

Write a function (title-style) that capitalizes the first character of words.
(title-style "the cathedral and the bazaar")
⇒ "The Cathedral And The Bazaar"

4. Summary

I have explained about characters and strings in this chapter.

I will explain about symbol in the next chapter. Symbol is a characteristic data type of Lisp/Scheme. Fast text manipulation is possible using this data type.

Answer 1

Convert a string to a list and capitalize the characters before spaces and convert it again to the string.
(define (identity x) x)

(define (title-style str)
  (let loop ((ls (string->list str))
	     (w #t)
	     (acc '()))
    (if (null? ls)
	(list->string (reverse acc))
	(let ((c (car ls)))
	  (loop (cdr ls)
		(char-whitespace? c)
		(cons ((if w char-upcase identity) c) acc))))))
;;; Another answer, You can assign caps to the string.
(define (title-style str)
  (let ((n (string-length str)))
    (let loop ((w #t) (i 0))
      (if (= i n)
	  (let ((c (string-ref str i)))
	    (if w (string-set! str i (char-upcase c)))
	    (loop (char-whitespace? c) (1+ i)))))))
(title-style "the cathedral and the bazaar")
⇒ "The Cathedral And The Bazaar"