const name = ‘Nick’ console.log(name.length) // 4
name has 4 characters ‘N’, ‘i’, ‘c’, ‘k’ and length is also 4.
Everything seems logical.
Let’s go further and add emoji to my name.
const name = ‘Nick 🐃’ console.log(name.length) // 7
name must have 6 characters ‘N’, ‘i’, ‘c’, ‘k’, ‘ ‘ (whitespace) and ‘🐃’
But have 7.
It seems like the bull has 2 characters.
const emoji = ‘🐃’ console.log(emoji.length) // 2
Let’s figure out why.
Scroll to “6.1.4 The String Type.”
And find this:
“The String type is the set of all ordered sequences of zero or more 16-bit unsigned integer values (“elements”) up to a maximum length of 2⁵³ - 1 elements. The String type is generally used to represent textual data in a running ECMAScript program, in which case each element in the String is treated as a UTF-16 code unit value.”
❓What is UTF-16?
💬 A Unicode transformation format (UTF) is an algorithmic mapping from every Unicode code point to a unique byte sequence.
One UTF-16 code unit value is a number from 0x0000 to 0xFFFF.
❓What is 0x0000 and 0xFFFF?
💬 0x represent the hexadecimal numeral system, often shortened to "hex", is a numeral system made up of 16 symbols (base 16). The standard numeral system is called decimal (base 10) and uses ten symbols: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Hexadecimal uses the decimal numbers and six extra symbols.
0x004e = N
0x0069 = i
0x0063 = c
0x006b = k
In UTF-16, Unicode characters from the Basic Multilingual Plane (contains characters for almost all modern languages) are encoded with one code unit.
Other characters from the non-Basic Multilingual Plane (emojis, musical notations, cards, hieroglyphs, etc) require two code units.
So UTF-16 format represents 🐃 emoji with two code units (0Xd83d 0Xdc03).
‘🐃’.length gives 2.
const name = ‘Nick’ const nameInUnicode = ‘\u004e\u0069\u0063\u006b’ console.log(name === nameInUnicode) // true console.log(nameInUnicode.length) // 4 const fullName = ‘Nick 🐃’ const fullNameInUnicode = ‘\u004e\u0069\u0063\u006b\u0020\ud83d\udc03’ console.log(fullName === fullNameInUnicode) // true console.log(fullNameInUnicode.length) // 7
❓ What is \u?
💬 A Unicode character escape sequence represents the single Unicode code point formed by the hexadecimal number following the “\u” or “\U” characters.
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