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  1. JDK
  2. JDK-8210718

String::detab, String::entab

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    Details

    • Type: CSR
    • Status: Closed
    • Priority: P3
    • Resolution: Withdrawn
    • Fix Version/s: tbd
    • Component/s: core-libs
    • Labels:
      None
    • Subcomponent:
    • Compatibility Risk:
      minimal
    • Compatibility Risk Description:
      New method in final class.
    • Interface Kind:
      Java API
    • Scope:
      SE

      Description

      Summary

      Introduce entab and detab instance methods to java.lang.String.

      Problem

      Tab (U+0009) characters have long been problematic with developers in the fact that they can have different sematics depending on context. In general terms a tab is interpreted as leave enough white space to position the next character at the next tab stop. In graphic terms, that usually means position the graphic cursor at the next horizontal point described in a collection of stop points.

      For developers working with source or data text usually displayed in fixed width fonts, a tab most often means advance to the next character position that is modulo n == 0. What differs between developers and contexts in these scenarios is the choice of n (ex. 4 or 8).

      The introduction of raw string literals in JDK 12 brings this issue to the forefront in the fact that raw string literals containing tabs may not be interpreted as the developer intended.

      Solution

      Introduce a String instance method detab that replaces tab (U+0009) characters with sufficient space (U+0020) characters to align with the tab stops intended by the developer.

      Also, introduce the inverse String instance method entab that replaces space (U+0020) characters with tab (U+0009) characters to align with the tab stops intended by the developer.

      
      Example:
      
          String s = "a\tb\tc\td".detab(4);
          String t = s.entab(4);
      
      Result:
      
      a   b   c   d
      a\tb\tc\td
      
      Example:
      
          String r = `
                          abc
                              def
                                  ghi
                     `.detab(8) // remove tabs in source before aligning
                      .align();
      
      Result:
      
      abc
          def
              ghi
      

      Specification

          /**
           * Expands all tab (U+0009) code points within this string with sufficient
           * space (U+0020) code points such that the resulting string is visually
           * uneffected when displayed on a device with fixed tab settings of
           * {@code tabWidth}.
           * <blockquote><pre>
           * Example:
           *     String withTabs = "a\tbc\tdef\tghij\tklmno\tpqrstuvwxyz";
           *     String withSpaces = withTabs.detab(4);
           *     System.out.println(withSpaces);
           *     System.out.println("^   ".repeat(8));
           *
           * Result:
           * a   bc  def ghij    klmno   pqrstuvwxyz
           * ^   ^   ^   ^   ^   ^   ^   ^
           * </pre></blockquote>
           * <p>
           * Tab and space code points at the end of lines are removed.
           *
           * @param tabWidth  number of code points between tab stops
           *
           * @return this string with tabs replaced with spaces
           *
           * @throws IllegalArgumentException if tabWidth is less than or equal to zero.
           *
           * @since 12
           */
          public String detab(int tabWidth) {
      
          /**
           * Reduces space (U+0020) code points within this string with tab (U+0009)
           * code points whenever the resulting string is shorter but visually
           * uneffected when displayed on a device with fixed tab settings of {@code
           * tabWidth}.
           * <blockquote><pre>
           * Example:
           *     String withSpaces = "a   bc  def ghij    klmno   pqrstuvwxyz";
           *     String withTabs = withSpaces.entab(4);
           *     System.out.println(withTabs.replace("\t", "\\t"));
           *
           * Result:
           * a\tbc\tdef ghij\tklmno\tpqrstuvwxyz
           * </pre></blockquote>
           * <p>
           * Tab and space code points at the end of lines are removed.
           *
           * @param tabWidth  number of code points between tab stops
           *
           * @return this string with a subset of spaces replaced with tabs
           *
           * @throws IllegalArgumentException if tabWidth is less than or equal to zero.
           *
           * @since 12
           */
          public String entab(int tabWidth) {

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              Assignee:
              jlaskey Jim Laskey
              Reporter:
              jlaskey Jim Laskey
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                Dates

                Created:
                Updated:
                Resolved: