The BString is a string allocation and manipulation class. The object takes care of allocating and freeing memory for you, and provides a number of character search, comparison, and manipulation functions in a variety of flavors: FindFirst(), FindLast(), Prepend(), Append(), Insert(), Remove(), RemoveSet(), and so on. The class also defines a number of operators that map to these functions; for example, the += operator is the same as the Append() function. The operators make BString objects particularly easy to work with.

This document describes some global C functions and operators that act like BString functions. The global Compare() and ICompare() functions let you compare two BStrings that are passed as arguments; they're meant to be used as hook functions that are called from within a sorting routine (such as qsort()). The global operators are defined so you don't have to worry about the order of the operands.


BString is not thread safe. You shouldn't try to access the same BString object from two different threads at the same time.

Currently, BString only supports assignment and retrieval of strings that contain single-byte characters. If you want to use a BString to store a string that contains multi-byte (UTF8) characters, you have to flatten the string yourself and adjust the character count arguments accordingly.

Assigning and Retrieving String Data

To assign a BString's string, you pass the string to the object's constructor, to SetTo(), or you use the = or << operators:

BString string("8 Bits");

/* or */
BString string;
string.SetTo("8 Bits");

/* or */
BString string = "8 Bits";

/* or */
BString string;
string << (int32)8 << " Bits";

There's also an Adopt() function that let's you move data from one BString object to another. In all cases, the BString object takes care of allocating storage for you—the object is guaranteed to be "big enough" to contain the string data.

The String() function retrieves the object's string:


ByteAt() returns a single character, located by index. You can also get a character by using the [] operator; the following returns the string's first character:

char c = string[0];

Direct Data Access

If you want to access a BString's data directly, you call LockBuffer(), and then call UnlockBuffer() when you're finished. Between these two calls, you can manipulate the string data, but you mustn't call any other BString function:

int32 len = string.Length()+1
char *stringData = string.LockBuffer(len);

/* While the buffer is locked you can manipulate the string by hand, or
through standard C functions, but you mustn't call BString functions. */

stringData[0] = 'd';
strcat(stringData, " button");
string.UnlockBuffer(len+strlen(" button"));

/* The object can once again receive BString functions. */
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