String Library (reduced)


John Cowan


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Table of contents


Scheme has an impoverished set of string-processing utilities, which is a problem for authors of portable code. This SRFI proposes a coherent and comprehensive set of string-processing procedures. It is a reduced version of SRFI 13 that has been aligned with SRFI 135, Immutable Texts. Unlike SRFI 13, it has been made consistent with the R5RS, R6RS, and R7RS-small string procedures.

Procedure Index

Here is a list of the procedures provided by this SRFI:

string-every string-any
make-string string
string-unfold string-unfold-right
string->vector string->list
vector->string list->string
string-take string-take-right
string-drop string-drop-right
string-pad string-pad-right 
string-trim string-trim-right string-trim-both
string=? string-ci=?
string<? string-ci<?
string>? string-ci>?
string<=? string-ci<=?
string>=? string-ci>=?
Prefixes and suffixes
string-prefix-length string-suffix-length
string-prefix? string-suffix?    
string-index string-index-right
string-skip string-skip-right
string-contains string-contains-right
string-take-while string-take-while-right
string-drop-while string-drop-while-right
string-break string-span
string-append string-concatenate string-concatenate-reverse
Fold and map and friends
string-fold string-fold-right
string-map string-for-each
string-filter string-remove
Replication and splitting
string-segment string-split
read-string write-string
string-set! string-fill! string-copy!


This SRFI is based upon SRFI 130, copying much of its structure and wording, but eliminating the concept of cursors. However, it is textually derived from SRFI 135, in order to gain access to the editorial improvements made to the text of that SRFI, which was itself based on SRFI 130. Ultimately the origin of all these SRFIs is SRFI 13.

This SRFI omits the following bells, whistles, and gongs of SRFI 13:

In addition, this SRFI includes the string-segment and string-split procedures from other sources. For completeness, string-take-while, string-drop-while, string-take-while-right, and string-drop-while-right are also provided.

There are no performance guarantees for any of the procedures in this SRFI.

The Scheme programming language does not expose the internal representation of strings. Some implementations of Scheme use UTF-32 or a similar encoding, which makes string-length, string-ref, and string-set! run in O(1) time. Some implementations use UTF-16 or UTF-8, which save space at the expense of making string-ref take time proportional to the length of a string. Others allow only 256 characters, typically the Latin-1 repertoire.

Although Scheme's string data type allows portable code to use strings independently of their internal representation, the variation in performance between implementations has created a problem for programs that use long strings. In some systems, long strings are inefficient with respect to space; in other systems, long strings are inefficient with respect to time. Consequently, this SRFI suggests that Scheme's mutable strings be used only for relatively short sequences of characters, while using the immutable texts defined by SRFI 135 for long sequences of characters.


Procedures present in R5RS, R6RS, and R7RS-small are marked (R5RS). Procedures present in R5RS and R6RS but with additional arguments in R7RS-small are marked (R5RS+). Procedures present in R6RS and R7RS-small are marked (R6-R7RS). Procedures present in R6RS only are marked (R6RS). Procedures present in R7RS-small only are marked (R7RS-small).

Except as noted, the results returned from the procedures of this SRFI must be newly allocated strings. This is a change from the definition of SRFIs 13 and 130, though most Schemes do not support sharable strings in any case. However, the empty string need not be newly allocated.

The procedures of this SRFI follow a consistent naming scheme, and are consistent with the conventions developed in SRFI 1 and used in SRFI 13, SRFI 130, and SRFI 135. In particular, procedures that have left/right directional variants use no suffix to specify left-to-right operation, -right to specify right-to-left operation, and -both to specify both. One discrepancy between SRFI 1 and other SRFIs is in the tabulate procedure: SRFI 1's list-tabulate takes the length argument first, before the procedure, whereas all string SRFIs put the procedure first, in line with mapping and folding operations.

The order of common arguments is consistent across the different procedures. In particular, all procedures place the main string to be operated on first, with the exception of the mapping and folding procedures, which are consistent with R7RS-small and SRFI 1.

If a procedure's return value is said to be "unspecified," the procedure returns a single result whose value is unconstrained and might even vary from call to call.


In the following procedure specifications:

It is an error to pass values that violate the specification above.

Arguments given in square brackets are optional. Unless otherwise noted in the string describing the procedure, any prefix of these optional arguments may be supplied, from zero arguments to the full list. When a procedure returns multiple values, this is shown by listing the return values in square brackets as well. So, for example, the procedure with signature

halts? f [x init-store][boolean integer]
would take one (f), two (f, x) or three (f, x, init-store) input arguments, and return two values, a boolean and an integer.

An argument followed by "..." means zero or more elements. So the procedure with the signature

sum-squares x ... number
takes zero or more arguments (x ...), while the procedure with signature
spell-check doc dict1 dict2 ...string-list
takes two required arguments (doc and dict1) and zero or more optional arguments (dict2 ...).



string? obj → boolean (R5RS)
Is obj a string?
string-null? string → boolean
Is string the empty string?
string-every pred string [start end] → value
string-any   pred string [start end] → value

Checks to see if every/any character in string satisfies pred, proceeding from left (index start) to right (index end). These procedures are short-circuiting: if pred returns false, string-every does not call pred on subsequent characters; if pred returns true, string-any does not call pred on subsequent characters; Both procedures are "witness-generating":

Note: The names of these procedures do not end with a question mark. This indicates a general value is returned instead of a simple boolean (#t or #f).


make-string len char → string (R5RS)
Returns a string of the given length filled with the given character.
string char ... → string (R5RS)
Returns a string consisting of the given characters.
string-tabulate proc len → string
Proc is a procedure that accepts an exact integer as its argument and returns a character. Constructs a string of size len by calling proc on each value from 0 (inclusive) to len (exclusive) to produce the corresponding element of the string. The order in which proc is called on those indexes is not specified.

Rationale: Although string-unfold is more general, string-tabulate is likely to run faster for the common special case it implements.

string-unfold stop? mapper successor seed [base make-final] → string
This is a fundamental constructor for strings.

string-unfold is a fairly powerful string constructor. You can use it to convert a list to a string, read a port into a string, reverse a string, copy a string, and so forth. Examples:

(port->string p) = (string-unfold eof-object?
                           (lambda (x) (read-char p))
                           (read-char p))

(list->string lis) = (string-unfold null? car cdr lis)

(string-tabulate f size) = (string-unfold (lambda (i) (= i size)) f add1 0)

To map f over a list lis, producing a string:

(string-unfold null? (compose f car) cdr lis)

Interested functional programmers may enjoy noting that string-fold-right and string-unfold are in some sense inverses. That is, given operations knull?, kar, kdr, and kons, and a value knil satisfying

(kons (kar x) (kdr x)) = x  and  (knull? knil) = #t


(string-fold-right kons knil (string-unfold knull? kar kdr x)) = x
(string-unfold knull? kar kdr (string-fold-right kons knil string)) = string.

This combinator pattern is sometimes called an "anamorphism."

Note: Implementations should not allow the size of strings created by string-unfold to be limited by limits on stack size.

string-unfold-right stop? mapper successor seed [base make-final] → string
This is a fundamental constructor for strings. It is the same as string-unfold except the results of mapper are assembled into the string in right-to-left order, base is the optional rightmost portion of the constructed string, and make-final produces the leftmost portion of the constructed string.
(string-unfold-right (lambda (n) (< n (char->integer #\A)))
                   (lambda (n) (char-downcase (integer->char n)))
                   (lambda (n) (- n 1))
                   (char->integer #\Z)
                   (lambda (n) " The English alphabet: "))
    => " The English alphabet: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz "


string->vector string [start end] → char-vector (R7RS-small)
string->list   string [start end] → char-list (R5RS+)
These procedures return a newly allocated (unless empty) vector or list of the characters that make up the given substring.
vector->string char-vector [start end] → string (R7RS-small)
list->string   char-list → string (R5RS)
These procedures return a string containing the characters of the given (sub)vector or list. The behavior of the string will not be affected by subsequent mutation of the given vector or list.
reverse-list->string char-list → string
Semantically equivalent to (compose list->string reverse):
(reverse-list->string '(#\a #\B #\c)) → "cBa"
This is a common idiom in the epilogue of string-processing loops that accumulate their result using a list in reverse order. (See also string-concatenate-reverse for the "chunked" variant.)


string-length string → len (R5RS)
Returns the number of characters within the given string.
string-ref string idx → char (R5RS)
Returns character string[idx], using 0-origin indexing.
substring    string start end → string (R5RS)
string-copy  string [start end] → string (R5RS+)
These procedures return a string containing the characters of string beginning with index start (inclusive) and ending with index end (exclusive). The only difference is that substring requires all three arguments, whereas string-copy requires only one.
string-take       string nchars → string
string-drop       string nchars → string
string-take-right string nchars → string
string-drop-right string nchars → string
string-take returns a string containing the first nchars of string; string-drop returns a string containing all but the first nchars of string. string-take-right returns a string containing the last nchars of string; string-drop-right returns a string containing all but the last nchars of string.
(string-take "Pete Szilagyi" 6) => "Pete S"
(string-drop "Pete Szilagyi" 6) => "zilagyi"

(string-take-right "Beta rules" 5) => "rules"
(string-drop-right "Beta rules" 5) => "Beta "

It is an error to take or drop more characters than are in the string:

(string-take "foo" 37) => error
string-pad       string len [char start end] → string
string-pad-right string len [char start end] → string
Returns a string of length len comprised of the characters drawn from the given subrange of string, padded on the left (right) by as many occurrences of the character char as needed. If string has more than len chars, it is truncated on the left (right) to length len. char defaults to #\space.
(string-pad     "325" 5) => "  325"
(string-pad   "71325" 5) => "71325"
(string-pad "8871325" 5) => "71325"
string-trim       string [pred start end] → string
string-trim-right string [pred start end] → string
string-trim-both  string [pred start end] → string
Returns a string obtained from the given subrange of string by skipping over all characters on the left side / on the right side / on both sides that satisfy the second argument pred: pred defaults to char-whitespace?.

(string-trim-both "  The outlook wasn't brilliant,  \n\r")
    => "The outlook wasn't brilliant,"


string-replace string1 string2 start1 end1 [start2 end2] → string
(string-append (substring string1 0 start1)
                (substring string2 start2 end2)
                (substring string1 end1 (string-length string1)))

That is, the segment of characters in string1 from start1 to end1 is replaced by the segment of characters in string2 from start2 to end2. If start1=end1, this simply splices the characters drawn from string2 into string1 at that position.


(string-replace "The TCL programmer endured daily ridicule."
                 "another miserable perl drone" 4 7 8 22)
    => "The miserable perl programmer endured daily ridicule."

(string-replace "It's easy to code it up in Scheme." "lots of fun" 5 9)
    => "It's lots of fun to code it up in Scheme."

(define (string-insert s i t) (string-replace s t i i))

(string-insert "It's easy to code it up in Scheme." 5 "really ")
    => "It's really easy to code it up in Scheme."

(define (string-set s i c) (string-replace s (string c) i (+ i 1)))

(string-set "String-ref runs in O(n) time." 21 #\1)
    => "String-ref runs in O(1) time."


string=? string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
Returns #t if all the strings have the same length and contain exactly the same characters in the same positions; otherwise returns #f.
string<?  string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
string>?  string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
string<=? string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
string>=? string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
These procedures return #t if their arguments are (respectively): monotonically increasing, monotonically decreasing, monotonically non-decreasing, or monotonically non-increasing.

These comparison predicates are required to be transitive.

These procedures compare strings in an implementation-defined way. One approach is to make them the lexicographic extensions to strings of the corresponding orderings on characters. In that case, string<? would be the lexicographic ordering on strings induced by the ordering char<? on characters, and if two strings differ in length but are the same up to the length of the shorter string, the shorter string would be considered to be lexicographically less than the longer string. However, implementations are also allowed to use more sophisticated locale-specific orderings.

In all cases, a pair of strings must satisfy exactly one of string<?, string=?, and string>?, must satisfy string<=? if and only if they do not satisfy string>?, and must satisfy string>=? if and only if they do not satisfy string<?.

string-ci=? string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
Returns #t if, after calling string-foldcase on each of the arguments, all of the case-folded strings would have the same length and contain the same characters in the same positions; otherwise returns #f.
string-ci<?  string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
string-ci>?  string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
string-ci<=? string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
string-ci>=? string1 string2 string3 ... → boolean (R5RS)
These procedures behave as though they had called string-foldcase on their arguments before applying the corresponding procedures without "-ci".

Prefixes and suffixes

string-prefix-length string1 string2 [start1 end1 start2 end2] → integer
string-suffix-length string1 string2 [start1 end1 start2 end2] → integer
Return the length of the longest common prefix/suffix of string1 and string2. For prefixes, this is equivalent to their "mismatch index" (relative to the start indexes).

The optional start/end indexes restrict the comparison to the indicated substrings of string1 and string2.

string-prefix? string1 string2 [start1 end1 start2 end2] → boolean
string-suffix? string1 string2 [start1 end1 start2 end2] → boolean
Is string1 a prefix/suffix of string2?

The optional start/end indexes restrict the comparison to the indicated substrings of string1 and string2.


string-index       string pred [start end] → idx-or-false
string-index-right string pred [start end] → idx-or-false
string-skip        string pred [start end] → idx-or-false
string-skip-right  string pred [start end] → idx-or-false
string-index searches through the given substring from the left, returning the index of the leftmost character satisfying the predicate pred. string-index-right searches from the right, returning the index of the rightmost character satisfying the predicate pred. If no match is found, these procedures return #f.

The start and end arguments specify the beginning and end of the search; the valid indexes relevant to the search include start but exclude end. Beware of "fencepost" errors: when searching right-to-left, the first index considered is (- end 1), whereas when searching left-to-right, the first index considered is start. That is, the start/end indexes describe the same half-open interval [start,end) in these procedures that they do in all other procedures specified by this SRFI.

The skip functions are similar, but use the complement of the criterion: they search for the first char that doesn't satisfy pred. To skip over initial whitespace, for example, say

(substring string
            (or (string-skip string char-whitespace?)
                (string-length string))
            (string-length string))
string-contains       string1 string2 [start1 end1 start2 end2] → idx-or-false
string-contains-right string1 string2 [start1 end1 start2 end2] → idx-or-false
Does the substring of string1 specified by start1 and end1 contain the sequence of characters given by the substring of string2 specified by start2 and end2?

Returns #f if there is no match. If start2 = end2, string-contains returns start1 but string-contains-right returns end1. Otherwise returns the index in string1 for the first character of the first/last match; that index lies within the half-open interval [start1,end1), and the match lies entirely within the [start1,end1) range of string1.

(string-contains "eek -- what a geek." "ee" 12 18) ; Searches "a geek"
    => 15

Note: The names of these procedures do not end with a question mark. This indicates a useful value is returned when there is a match.

string-take-while        string pred [start end] → string
string-take-while-right  string pred [start end] → string
Returns the longest initial prefix/suffix of the substring of string specified by start and end whose elements all satisfy the predicate pred. (Not SRFI 13 procedures.)
string-drop-while        string pred [start end] → string
string-drop-while-right  string pred [start end] → string
Drops the longest initial prefix/suffix of the substring of string specified by start and end whose elements all satisfy the predicate pred, and returns the rest of the string.

These are the same as string-trim and string-trim-right, but with a different order of arguments. (Not SRFI 13 procedures.)

string-span   string pred [start end] → [string string]
string-break  string pred [start end] → [string string]
String-span splits the substring of string specified by start and end into the longest initial prefix whose elements all satisfy pred, and the remaining tail. String-break inverts the sense of the predicate: the tail commences with the first element of the input string that satisfies the predicate. (Not SRFI 13 procedures.)

In other words: span finds the initial span of elements satisfying pred, and break breaks the string at the first element satisfying pred.

String-span is equivalent to

(values (string-take-while pred string) 
        (string-drop-while pred string))


string-append string ... → string (R5RS)
Returns a string whose sequence of characters is the concatenation of the sequences of characters in the given arguments.
string-concatenate string-list → string
Concatenates the elements of string-list together into a single string.

Rationale: Some implementations of Scheme limit the number of arguments that may be passed to an n-ary procedure, so the (apply string-append string-list) idiom, which is otherwise equivalent to using this procedure, is not as portable.

string-concatenate-reverse string-list [final-string end] → string
With no optional arguments, calling this procedure is equivalent to
(string-concatenate (reverse string-list))

If the optional argument final-string is specified, it is effectively consed onto the beginning of string-list before performing the list-reverse and string-concatenate operations.

If the optional argument end is given, only the characters up to but not including end in final-string are added to the result, thus producing

  (reverse (cons (substring final-string 0 end)
For example:
(string-concatenate-reverse '(" must be" "Hello, I") " going.XXXX" 7)
  => "Hello, I must be going."

Rationale: This procedure is useful when constructing procedures that accumulate character data into lists of string buffers, and wish to convert the accumulated data into a single string when done. The optional end argument accommodates that use case by allowing the final buffer to be only partially full without having to copy it a second time, as string-take would require.

Note that reversing a string simply reverses the sequence of code points it contains. Caution should be taken if a grapheme cluster is divided between two string arguments.

string-join string-list [delimiter grammar] → string
This procedure is a simple unparser; it pastes strings together using the delimiter string.

string-list is a list of strings. delimiter is a string. The grammar argument is a symbol that determines how the delimiter is used, and defaults to 'infix. It is an error for grammar to be any symbol other than these four:

The delimiter is the string used to delimit elements; it defaults to a single space " ".

(string-join '("foo" "bar" "baz"))
         => "foo bar baz"
(string-join '("foo" "bar" "baz") "")
         => "foobarbaz"
(string-join '("foo" "bar" "baz") ":")
         => "foo:bar:baz"
(string-join '("foo" "bar" "baz") ":" 'suffix)
         => "foo:bar:baz:"

;; Infix grammar is ambiguous wrt empty list vs. empty string:
(string-join '()   ":") => ""
(string-join '("") ":") => ""

;; Suffix and prefix grammars are not:
(string-join '()   ":" 'suffix)) => ""
(string-join '("") ":" 'suffix)) => ":"

Fold and map and friends

string-fold       kons knil string [start end] → value
string-fold-right kons knil string [start end] → value
These are the fundamental iterators for strings.

The string-fold procedure maps the kons procedure across the given string from left to right:

(... (kons string[2] (kons string[1] (kons string[0] knil))))

In other words, string-fold obeys the (tail) recursion

  (string-fold kons knil string start end)
= (string-fold kons (kons string[start] knil) start+1 end)

The string-fold-right procedure maps kons across the given string from right to left:

(kons string[0]
      (... (kons string[end-3]
                 (kons string[end-2]
                       (kons string[end-1]

obeying the (tail) recursion

  (string-fold-right kons knil string start end)
= (string-fold-right kons (kons string[end-1] knil) start end-1)


;;; Convert a string to a list of chars.
(string-fold-right cons '() string)

;;; Count the number of lower-case characters in a string.
(string-fold (lambda (c count)
                (if (char-lower-case? c)
                    (+ count 1)

The string-fold-right combinator is sometimes called a "catamorphism."

string-map proc string1 string2 ... → string (R7RS-small)
It is an error if proc does not accept as many arguments as the number of string arguments passed to string-map, does not accept characters as arguments, or returns a value that is not a character or string.

The string-map procedure applies proc element-wise to the characters of the string arguments, converts each value returned by proc to a string, and returns the concatenation of those strings. If more than one string argument is given and not all have the same length, then string-map terminates when the shortest string argument runs out. The dynamic order in which proc is called on the characters of the string arguments is unspecified, as is the dynamic order in which the coercions are performed. If any strings returned by proc are mutated after they have been returned and before the call to string-map has returned, then string-map returns a string with unspecified contents; the string-map procedure itself does not mutate those strings.


(string-map (lambda (c0 c1 c2)
               (case c0
                ((#\1) c1)
                ((#\2) (string c2))
                ((#\-) (string #\- c1))))
             "Hi There!"
             "Dear John")
     => "Hear-here!"
string-for-each proc string1 string2 ... → unspecified (R7RS-small)
It is an error if proc does not accept as many arguments as the number of string arguments passed to string-map or does not accept characters as arguments.

The string-for-each procedure applies proc element-wise to the characters of the string arguments, going from left to right. If more than one string argument is given and not all have the same length, then string-for-each terminates when the shortest string argument runs out.

string-count string pred [start end] → integer
Returns a count of the number of characters in the specified substring of string that satisfy the given predicate.
string-filter pred string [start end] → string
string-remove pred string [start end] → string
Filter the given substring of string, retaining only those characters that satisfy / do not satisfy pred.

Compatibility note: In SRFI 13, string-remove is called string-delete. This is inconsistent with SRFI 1 and other SRFIs.

Replication and splitting

string-replicate string from to [start end] → string
This is an "extended substring" procedure that implements replicated copying of a substring.

string is a string; start and end are optional arguments that specify a substring of string, defaulting to 0 and the length of string. This substring is conceptually replicated both up and down the index space, in both the positive and negative directions. For example, if string is "abcdefg", start is 3, and end is 6, then we have the conceptual bidirectionally-infinite string

    ...  d  e  f  d  e  f  d  e  f  d  e  f  d  e  f  d  e  f  d ...
        -9 -8 -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1  0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9

string-replicate returns the substring of this string beginning at index from, and ending at to. It is an error if from is greater than to.

You can use string-replicate to perform a variety of tasks:

  • To rotate a string left: (string-replicate "abcdef" 2 8) => "cdefab"
  • To rotate a string right: (string-replicate "abcdef" -2 4) => "efabcd"
  • To replicate a string: (string-replicate "abc" 0 7) => "abcabca"

Note that

  • The from/to arguments give a half-open range containing the characters from index from up to, but not including, index to.
  • The from/to indexes are not expressed in the index space of string. They refer instead to the replicated index space of the substring defined by string, start, and end.

It is an error if start=end, unless from=to, which is allowed as a special case.

Compatibility note: In SRFI 13, this procedure is called xsubstring.

string-segment string k → list
Returns a list of strings representing the consecutive substrings of length k. The last string may be shorter than k. (Not a SRFI 13 procedure.)
string-split string delimiter [grammar limit start end] → list
Returns a list of strings representing the words contained in the substring of string from start (inclusive) to end (exclusive). The delimiter is a string to be used as the word separator. This will often be a single character, but multiple characters are allowed for use cases such as splitting on "\r\n". The returned list will have one more item than the number of non-overlapping occurrences of the delimiter in the string. If delimiter is an empty string, then the returned list contains a list of strings, each of which contains a single character. (Not a SRFI 13 procedure; replaces string-tokenize).

The grammar is a symbol with the same meaning as in the string-join procedure. If it is infix, which is the default, processing is done as described above, except an empty string produces the empty list; if grammar is strict-infix, then an empty string signals an error. The values prefix and suffix cause a leading/trailing empty string in the result to be suppressed.

If limit is a non-negative exact integer, at most that many splits occur, and the remainder of string is returned as the final element of the list (so the result will have at most limit+1 elements). If limit is not specified or is #f, then as many splits as possible are made. It is an error if limit is any other value.

To split on a regular expression, use SRFI 115's regexp-split procedure.


read-string k [port] → string (R7RS-small)
Reads the next k characters, or as many as are available before the end of file, from the textual input port into a newly allocated string in left-to-right order and returns the string. If no characters are available before the end of file, an end-of-file object is returned. The default port is the value of (current-input-port).
write-string string [port start end]→ unspecified (R7RS-small)
Writes the characters of string from index start to index end onto textual output port port. The default port is the value of (current-output-port).


string-set! string k char → unspecified (R5RS)
The string-set! procedure stores char in element k of string.
string-fill! string fill [start end] → unspecified (R5RS+)
The string-fill! procedure stores fill in elements start through end of string.
string-copy! to at from [start end] → unspecified (R7RS-small)
Copies the characters of string from between start and end to string to, starting at at. The order in which characters are copied is unspecified, except that if the source and destination overlap, copying takes place as if the source is first copied into a temporary string and then into the destination. This can be achieved without allocating storage by making sure to copy in the correct direction in such circumstances.

Sample implementation

The sample implementations of this SRFI are in the SRFI repository. The main implementation is portable but inefficient; since efficiency is not a design goal (use texts for that!), it should be satisfactory.

There are two modules for Chicken. One works on Chicken's native 8-bit strings; the other leverages the utf8 egg to provide a UTF-8 facade over those same strings. This means that there is no reliable way to tell by inspection whether a string is 8-bit or UTF-8, and one must take precautions to avoid mixing them.

The Chicken modules srfi-13 utf8 utf8-srfi-13 utf8-case-map shouldn't be imported together into the same module or program with either srfi-152 or utf8-srfi-152, as they are inherently incompatible. However, it is possible to import utf8-srfi-152 and then cherry-pick non-conflicting identifiers from utf8 with (import (only utf8 read-char write-char print ...)). There is no problem with the utf8-srfi-14 and unicode-char-sets modules.

When importing any of the scheme chicken data-structures extras modules along with utf8-srfi-152, be sure to do it as follows to avoid conflicts:

(import (except scheme
    make-string string string-length string-ref string-set! substring
    string->list list->string string-fill!))
(import (except chicken
(import (except data-structures
    string-split substring-index))
(import (except extras
    read-string write-string))

When using the srfi-152 module instead, import the scheme module as follows:

(import (except scheme
  string->list string-fill!))
The other modules, if imported, must be restricted in the same way as shown above.

The R7RS library assumes the presence of all R7RS-small procedures and does not require excluding any of them, as this SRFI is inherently compatible with R7RS-small.


I acknowledge the participants in the SRFI 152 mailing list, and everyone acknowledged in SRFI 135 (which acknowledges everyone acknowledged in SRFI 130 (which acknowledges everyone acknowledged in SRFI 13)). Particularly important are Olin Shivers, the author of SRFI 13, and Will Clinger, the author of SRFI 135.

As Olin said, we should not assume any of those individuals endorse this SRFI.


Copyright (C) John Cowan (2017).

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.