ndmweb ndmweb - 1 month ago 8
Javascript Question

javascript url-safe filename-safe string

Not very good at the regex stuff, looking for a regex/replace function to take a user inputed string say, "John Smith's Cool Page" and return a filename/url safe string like "john_smith_s_cool_page.html", or something to that extent.

I feel like this should be a layup, but haven't found anything in my Google / StackOverFlow searches.

Answer

Well, here's one that replaces anything that's not a letter or a number, and makes it all lower case, like your example.

var s = "John Smith's Cool Page";
var filename = s.replace(/[^a-z0-9]/gi, '_').toLowerCase();

Explanation:

The regular expression is /[^a-z0-9]/gi. Well, actually the gi at the end is just a set of options that are used when the expression is used.

  • i means "ignore upper/lower case differences"
  • g means "global", which really means that every match should be replaced, not just the first one.

So what we're looking as is really just [^a-z0-9]. Let's read it step-by-step:

  • The [ and ] define a "character class", which is a list of single-characters. If you'd write [one], then that would match either 'o' or 'n' or 'e'.
  • However, there's a ^ at the start of the list of characters. That means it should match only characters not in the list.
  • Finally, the list of characters is a-z0-9. Read this as "a through z and 0 through 9". It's is a short way of writing abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789.

So basically, what the regular expression says is: "Find every letter that is not between 'a' and 'z' or between '0' and '9'".