[C++] The most elegant way to iterate the words of a string


Answers

I use this to split string by a delimiter. The first puts the results in a pre-constructed vector, the second returns a new vector.

#include <string>
#include <sstream>
#include <vector>
#include <iterator>

template<typename Out>
void split(const std::string &s, char delim, Out result) {
    std::stringstream ss(s);
    std::string item;
    while (std::getline(ss, item, delim)) {
        *(result++) = item;
    }
}

std::vector<std::string> split(const std::string &s, char delim) {
    std::vector<std::string> elems;
    split(s, delim, std::back_inserter(elems));
    return elems;
}

Note that this solution does not skip empty tokens, so the following will find 4 items, one of which is empty:

std::vector<std::string> x = split("one:two::three", ':');
Question

What is the most elegant way to iterate the words of a string? The string can be assumed to be composed of words separated by whitespace.

Note that I'm not interested in C string functions or that kind of character manipulation/access. Also, please give precedence to elegance over efficiency in your answer.

The best solution I have right now is:

#include <iostream>
#include <sstream>
#include <string>

using namespace std;

int main()
{
    string s = "Somewhere down the road";
    istringstream iss(s);

    do
    {
        string subs;
        iss >> subs;
        cout << "Substring: " << subs << endl;
    } while (iss);
}



Here's another solution. It's compact and reasonably efficient:

std::vector<std::string> split(const std::string &text, char sep) {
  std::vector<std::string> tokens;
  std::size_t start = 0, end = 0;
  while ((end = text.find(sep, start)) != std::string::npos) {
    tokens.push_back(text.substr(start, end - start));
    start = end + 1;
  }
  tokens.push_back(text.substr(start));
  return tokens;
}

It can easily be templatised to handle string separators, wide strings, etc.

Note that splitting "" results in a single empty string and splitting "," (ie. sep) results in two empty strings.

It can also be easily expanded to skip empty tokens:

std::vector<std::string> split(const std::string &text, char sep) {
    std::vector<std::string> tokens;
    std::size_t start = 0, end = 0;
    while ((end = text.find(sep, start)) != std::string::npos) {
        if (end != start) {
          tokens.push_back(text.substr(start, end - start));
        }
        start = end + 1;
    }
    if (end != start) {
       tokens.push_back(text.substr(start));
    }
    return tokens;
}

If splitting a string at multiple delimiters while skipping empty tokens is desired, this version may be used:

std::vector<std::string> split(const std::string& text, const std::string& delims)
{
    std::vector<std::string> tokens;
    std::size_t start = text.find_first_not_of(delims), end = 0;

    while((end = text.find_first_of(delims, start)) != std::string::npos)
    {
        tokens.push_back(text.substr(start, end - start));
        start = text.find_first_not_of(delims, end);
    }
    if(start != std::string::npos)
        tokens.push_back(text.substr(start));

    return tokens;
}



#include<iostream>
#include<string>
#include<sstream>
#include<vector>
using namespace std;

    vector<string> split(const string &s, char delim) {
        vector<string> elems;
        stringstream ss(s);
        string item;
        while (getline(ss, item, delim)) {
            elems.push_back(item);
        }
        return elems;
    }

int main() {

        vector<string> x = split("thi is an sample test",' ');
        unsigned int i;
        for(i=0;i<x.size();i++)
            cout<<i<<":"<<x[i]<<endl;
        return 0;
}



The STL does not have such a method available already.

However, you can either use C's strtok() function by using the std::string::c_str() member, or you can write your own. Here is a code sample I found after a quick Google search ("STL string split"):

void Tokenize(const string& str,
              vector<string>& tokens,
              const string& delimiters = " ")
{
    // Skip delimiters at beginning.
    string::size_type lastPos = str.find_first_not_of(delimiters, 0);
    // Find first "non-delimiter".
    string::size_type pos     = str.find_first_of(delimiters, lastPos);

    while (string::npos != pos || string::npos != lastPos)
    {
        // Found a token, add it to the vector.
        tokens.push_back(str.substr(lastPos, pos - lastPos));
        // Skip delimiters.  Note the "not_of"
        lastPos = str.find_first_not_of(delimiters, pos);
        // Find next "non-delimiter"
        pos = str.find_first_of(delimiters, lastPos);
    }
}

Taken from: http://oopweb.com/CPP/Documents/CPPHOWTO/Volume/C++Programming-HOWTO-7.html

If you have questions about the code sample, leave a comment and I will explain.

And just because it does not implement a typedef called iterator or overload the << operator does not mean it is bad code. I use C functions quite frequently. For example, printf and scanf both are faster than std::cin and std::cout (significantly), the fopen syntax is a lot more friendly for binary types, and they also tend to produce smaller EXEs.

Don't get sold on this "Elegance over performance" deal.




#include <vector>
#include <string>
#include <sstream>

using namespace std;

int main()
{
    string str("Split me by whitespaces");
    string buf; // Have a buffer string
    stringstream ss(str); // Insert the string into a stream

    vector<string> tokens; // Create vector to hold our words

    while (ss >> buf)
        tokens.push_back(buf);
}



Using std::stringstream as you have works perfectly fine, and do exactly what you wanted. If you're just looking for different way of doing things though, you can use std::find()/std::find_first_of() and std::string::substr().

Here's an example:

#include <iostream>
#include <string>

int main()
{
    std::string s("Somewhere down the road");
    std::string::size_type prev_pos = 0, pos = 0;

    while( (pos = s.find(' ', pos)) != std::string::npos )
    {
        std::string substring( s.substr(prev_pos, pos-prev_pos) );

        std::cout << substring << '\n';

        prev_pos = ++pos;
    }

    std::string substring( s.substr(prev_pos, pos-prev_pos) ); // Last word
    std::cout << substring << '\n';

    return 0;
}



Heres a regex solution that only uses the standard regex library. (I'm a little rusty, so there may be a few syntax errors, but this is at least the general idea)

#include <regex.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <vector.h>

using namespace std;

vector<string> split(string s){
    regex r ("\\w+"); //regex matches whole words, (greedy, so no fragment words)
    regex_iterator<string::iterator> rit ( s.begin(), s.end(), r );
    regex_iterator<string::iterator> rend; //iterators to iterate thru words
    vector<string> result<regex_iterator>(rit, rend);
    return result;  //iterates through the matches to fill the vector
}



Short and elegant

#include <vector>
#include <string>
using namespace std;

vector<string> split(string data, string token)
{
    vector<string> output;
    size_t pos = string::npos; // size_t to avoid improbable overflow
    do
    {
        pos = data.find(token);
        output.push_back(data.substr(0, pos));
        if (string::npos != pos)
            data = data.substr(pos + token.size());
    } while (string::npos != pos);
    return output;
}

can use any string as delimiter, also can be used with binary data (std::string supports binary data, including nulls)

using:

auto a = split("this!!is!!!example!string", "!!");

output:

this
is
!example!string



This is similar to Stack Overflow question How do I tokenize a string in C++?.

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <boost/tokenizer.hpp>

using namespace std;
using namespace boost;

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
    string text = "token  test\tstring";

    char_separator<char> sep(" \t");
    tokenizer<char_separator<char>> tokens(text, sep);
    for (const string& t : tokens)
    {
        cout << t << "." << endl;
    }
}



I like to use the boost/regex methods for this task since they provide maximum flexibility for specifying the splitting criteria.

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include <boost/regex.hpp>

int main() {
    std::string line("A:::line::to:split");
    const boost::regex re(":+"); // one or more colons

    // -1 means find inverse matches aka split
    boost::sregex_token_iterator tokens(line.begin(),line.end(),re,-1);
    boost::sregex_token_iterator end;

    for (; tokens != end; ++tokens)
        std::cout << *tokens << std::endl;
}



I have a 2 lines solution to this problem:

char sep = ' ';
std::string s="1 This is an example";

for(size_t p=0, q=0; p!=s.npos; p=q)
  std::cout << s.substr(p+(p!=0), (q=s.find(sep, p+1))-p-(p!=0)) << std::endl;

Then instead of printing you can put it in a vector.




So far I used the one in Boost, but I needed something that doesn't depends on it, so I came to this:

static void Split(std::vector<std::string>& lst, const std::string& input, const std::string& separators, bool remove_empty = true)
{
    std::ostringstream word;
    for (size_t n = 0; n < input.size(); ++n)
    {
        if (std::string::npos == separators.find(input[n]))
            word << input[n];
        else
        {
            if (!word.str().empty() || !remove_empty)
                lst.push_back(word.str());
            word.str("");
        }
    }
    if (!word.str().empty() || !remove_empty)
        lst.push_back(word.str());
}

A good point is that in separators you can pass more than one character.




Get Boost ! : -)

#include <boost/algorithm/string/split.hpp>
#include <boost/algorithm/string.hpp>
#include <iostream>
#include <vector>

using namespace std;
using namespace boost;

int main(int argc, char**argv) {
    typedef vector < string > list_type;

    list_type list;
    string line;

    line = "Somewhere down the road";
    split(list, line, is_any_of(" "));

    for(int i = 0; i < list.size(); i++)
    {
        cout << list[i] << endl;
    }

    return 0;
}

This example gives the output -

Somewhere
down
the
road



What about this:

#include <string>
#include <vector>

using namespace std;

vector<string> split(string str, const char delim) {
    vector<string> v;
    string tmp;

    for(string::const_iterator i; i = str.begin(); i <= str.end(); ++i) {
        if(*i != delim && i != str.end()) {
            tmp += *i; 
        } else {
            v.push_back(tmp);
            tmp = ""; 
        }   
    }   

    return v;
}



Here's a simple solution that uses only the standard regex library

#include <regex>
#include <string>
#include <vector>

std::vector<string> Tokenize( const string str, const std::regex regex )
{
    using namespace std;

    std::vector<string> result;

    sregex_token_iterator it( str.begin(), str.end(), regex, -1 );
    sregex_token_iterator reg_end;

    for ( ; it != reg_end; ++it ) {
        if ( !it->str().empty() ) //token could be empty:check
            result.emplace_back( it->str() );
    }

    return result;
}

The regex argument allows checking for multiple arguments (spaces, commas, etc.)

I usually only check to split on spaces and commas, so I also have this default function:

std::vector<string> TokenizeDefault( const string str )
{
    using namespace std;

    regex re( "[\\s,]+" );

    return Tokenize( str, re );
}

The "[\\s,]+" checks for spaces (\\s) and commas (,).

Note, if you want to split wstring instead of string,

  • change all std::regex to std::wregex
  • change all sregex_token_iterator to wsregex_token_iterator

Note, you might also want to take the string argument by reference, depending on your compiler.