Ruby on Rails latest stable (v4.2.1) - 1 note - Class: String

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mb_chars() public

Multibyte proxy

mb_chars is a multibyte safe proxy for string methods.

It creates and returns an instance of the ActiveSupport::Multibyte::Chars class which encapsulates the original string. A Unicode safe version of all the String methods are defined on this proxy class. If the proxy class doesn’t respond to a certain method, it’s forwarded to the encapsulated string.

name = 'Claus Müller'
name.reverse # => "rell??M sualC"
name.length  # => 13

name.mb_chars.reverse.to_s # => "rellüM sualC"
name.mb_chars.length       # => 12

Method chaining

All the methods on the Chars proxy which normally return a string will return a Chars object. This allows method chaining on the result of any of these methods.

name.mb_chars.reverse.length # => 12

Interoperability and configuration

The Chars object tries to be as interchangeable with String objects as possible: sorting and comparing between String and Char work like expected. The bang! methods change the internal string representation in the Chars object. Interoperability problems can be resolved easily with a to_s call.

For more information about the methods defined on the Chars proxy see ActiveSupport::Multibyte::Chars. For information about how to change the default Multibyte behavior see ActiveSupport::Multibyte.

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September 27, 2011 - (>= v3.1.0)
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1.9 behavior

“In Ruby 1.9 and newer mb_chars returns self’”

This would seem to be a lie. At least in rails 3.1.0 and ruby 1.9.2, mb_chars still returns a proxy object with additional useful methods defined on it that aren’t on a 1.9.2 String.

ruby-1.9.2-p180 :007 >  "àáâãäå".normalize(:kd)
NoMethodError: undefined method `normalize' for "àáâãäå":String

ruby-1.9.2-p180 :008 > "àáâãäå".mb_chars.normalize(:kd)
 => àáâãäå