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Removing Unwanted Characters from a String with RPG

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Removing Unwanted Characters from a String with RPG

Today I was working on a project where I needed to remove any special characters from a string.  In my case, I knew exactly what characters COULD be in the string.

I did a search and found a few examples, but most were using a list of invalid characters to replace them with a space, then trim out the spaces, or something of that nature.

In my case, I knew the characters I wanted to keep.  The solution was easier than expected.

D ValidChars      C                   CONST('ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ-            
D                                            abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz-            
D                                            0123456789-_ ')                        
 *                                                                                  
D tempString      S           1024                                                  
D i               S             10i 0                                               
 ****************************************************************                   
  tempString = 'B\&eca#use_^^& Road++==kill()';                                            
  i = %check(validChars:tempString);                                                
                                                                                    
  dow (i > 0);                                                                      
    tempString = %subst(tempString:1:i-1) + %subst(tempString:i+1);                 
    i = %check(validChars:tempString);                                              
  enddo; 

  *INLR = *ON;                                                                           

First, I defined a constant containing all the characters that were valid.  In this case it was A-Z, a-z, 0-9, _, - and space.

Then I simply used the %check BIF to check for any invalid characters in my string.  If I found one, I would substring two parts of the string together minus the one character that was invalid.

So when we started out with the string:
B\&eca#use_^^& Road++==kill()

We ended up with:
Because_ Roadkill

Pretty simply solution.  There most likely are other ways to handle this as well, but I thought I would share this example since the others I saw didn't really fit the bill.

Finally, you're probably wondering why I picked what I did for the test string.  Well, if you like car shows like me, check out RoadKill on YouTube Motortrend On Demand.  It's an excellent series from Motor Trend! 

Since cutting the cord at home and ditching DirecTV I've been forced to find replacements for my favorite shows, most of which were on Velocity (Bitchin Rides, etc).  I found the first two seasons of Roadkill on Netflix and the rest on YouTube.  Check it out!  I like the Rotsun and Stubby Bob the best.  :)


Last edited 04/07/2018 at 14:08:59



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