[nycphp-talk] iterating through a multibyte string

Rob Marscher rmarscher at
Wed Jan 13 10:02:08 EST 2010

Hi all,

I have a need to iterate through a multibyte string to process the string character by character.  Hopefully in php6, this will work without any special work, but as we know we need to use special multibyte string functions in php5 to work with utf-8 characters.  Here's an example that iterates my dilemma:


$str = "string with utf-8 chars åèö";
$length = mb_strlen($str);
$brokenStr = "";
$preservedStr = "";

for ($i = 0; $i < $length; $i++) {
  $brokenStr .= $str[$i];
  $preservedStr .= mb_substr($str, $i, 1);
echo "brokenStr = " . $brokenStr . "\n";
echo "preservedStr = " . $preservedStr . "\n";

The array notation for string is the normal way to do this with regular strings: $str[$i].  I assume this will work for multibyte strings in php6.  

-- Is using mb_substr($str, $i, 1) the only way to get this to work in php5?  That's my question.

It seems like it's going to be many times slower according to some of the comments I've seen on the multibyte functions in the php manual.


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