Thursday, March 22, 2012

String replace the better way.

This last week I have been working on making my team project at work run better on ie 7.  Usually that would mean that I spent all my time fixing styles, but there are better people then me at that.  So for me the project was getting rid of the scrpt is running two long errors.  The app I work on is very JavaScript heavy.  One of the worst offending functions I had found was the following:

function clean(word) {
        if (word) {
            return word.toLowerCase().
                replace(/\s/gi, "").                
                replace(/[àáâãäå]/gi, "a").
                replace(/æ/gi, "ae").
                replace(/ç/gi, "c").
                replace(/[èéêë]/gi, "e").
                replace(/[ìíîï]/gi, "i").
                replace(/ñ/gi, "n").
                replace(/[òóôõö]/gi, "o").
                replace(/œ/gi, "oe").
                replace(/[ùúûü]/gi, "u").
                replace(/[ýÿ]/gi, "y").
                replace(/\W/gi, "");
        } else {
            return word;

Which is a very brute force way of cleaning up strings for searching.  It was the most expensive call in our system.  With a little work it was changed to the following. 

var removeAccents = (function () {
        var translateReg = /[àáâãäåæçèéêëìíîïñòóôõöœùúûüýÿ]/g;
        var translate = {
        return function(s) {
            return (s.replace(translateReg, function(match) {
                return translate[match];
    function clean(word) {
        if (word) {
            return removeAccents(word.toLowerCase().replace(/\s/gi, "").replace(/\W/gi, ""));
        } else {
            return word;

For a massive boost in performance.