How to count the number of symbols in a string?

Jason Orendorff jason.orendorff at
Tue Dec 4 11:25:31 PST 2012

On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 2:09 AM, Mathias Bynens <mathias at> wrote:

> On 30 Nov 2012, at 22:50, Norbert Lindenberg <
> ecmascript at> wrote:
> > There's nothing in the proposal yet because I intentionally kept it
> small. It's always possible to add functionality, but we need some evidence
> that it will be widely used.
> My guess would be that in 99% of all cases where `String.prototype.length`
> is used the intention is to count the code points, not the UCS-2/UTF-16
> code units.

I don't think this is right. My guess is that in most cases where it
matters either way, the intention is to get a count that's consistent with
.charAt(), .indexOf(), .slice(), RegExp match.index, and every other place
where string indexes are used.

That said, of course this is a sensible feature to add; but calling it
".realLength" wouldn't help anyone understand the rather fine distinction
at issue.

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