Supports more 1-byte encodings than Node.js Buffer
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This module is abandoned

(status: abandoned)

The iconv-lite module supports more encodings than this module (singlebyte).

Consider using iconv-lite instead of this module.


A single-byte encoding means that each byte corresponds to a character.

Node's Buffer supports 'ascii' and 'binary', but sometimes you need more single-byte encodings.

This module (singlebyte) provides such support for several known encodings (see below).

This module can also be used to define more single-byte encodings.

Node.js v0.10 (or newer) is required.

Installing singlebyte

(npm package version)

  • Latest packaged version: npm install singlebyte

  • Latest githubbed version: npm install

You may visit occasionally to read the latest README because the package's version is not planned to grow after changes when they happen in README only. (And npm publish --force is forbidden nowadays.)

Using singlebyte

Require the installed module:

var sb = require('singlebyte');

You get an object that has the following methods:


Returns true if the given encoding is known to the module, false otherwise.

Works almost like Node.js Buffer's isEncoding.

learnEncoding(encodingName, encodingTable)

Defines an encoding.

Expects encodingName to be a string and encodingTable to be an array of exactly 256 elements.

A single-byte encoding means that each byte corresponds to a character. The value of a byte is always in the 0…255 range, and encodingTable[i] defines the character that corresponds to the i value of that byte.

Each value of the encodingTable array is a number (a Unicode code of the corresponding character). If that code is outside of the 0…0x10FFFF range, an error is thrown.

The encodings defined in Node.js Buffer cannot be redefined. (When such an attempt is made, an error is thrown.)


Returns an array of 256 elements previously given as encodingTable for the encoding.

If an encoding was never defined with learnEncoding, returns null.

Note:   for the encodings defined in Node.js Buffer, isEncoding returns true but getEncodingTable returns null.


Returns an array containing an encoding table of an extended ASCII encoding.

The first 128 codes (0…127) are numbers from 0 through 127.

The next 128 codes (128…255) are taken from extensionTable (that must have exactly 128 elements).

Then you may feed the returned array to learnEncoding as its second (encodingTable) parameter.

For example, that's how 'cp866' encoding is defined in the module's constructor:

this.learnEncoding('cp866', this.extendASCII([
0x410,  0x411,  0x412,  0x413,  0x414,  0x415,  0x416,  0x417,
0x418,  0x419,  0x41A,  0x41B,  0x41C,  0x41D,  0x41E,  0x41F,
0x420,  0x421,  0x422,  0x423,  0x424,  0x425,  0x426,  0x427,
0x428,  0x429,  0x42A,  0x42B,  0x42C,  0x42D,  0x42E,  0x42F,
0x430,  0x431,  0x432,  0x433,  0x434,  0x435,  0x436,  0x437,
0x438,  0x439,  0x43A,  0x43B,  0x43C,  0x43D,  0x43E,  0x43F,
0x2591, 0x2592, 0x2593, 0x2502, 0x2524, 0x2561, 0x2562, 0x2556,
0x2555, 0x2563, 0x2551, 0x2557, 0x255D, 0x255C, 0x255B, 0x2510,
0x2514, 0x2534, 0x252C, 0x251C, 0x2500, 0x253C, 0x255E, 0x255F,
0x255A, 0x2554, 0x2569, 0x2566, 0x2560, 0x2550, 0x256C, 0x2567,
0x2568, 0x2564, 0x2565, 0x2559, 0x2558, 0x2552, 0x2553, 0x256B,
0x256A, 0x2518, 0x250C, 0x2588, 0x2584, 0x258C, 0x2590, 0x2580,
0x440,  0x441,  0x442,  0x443,  0x444,  0x445,  0x446,  0x447,
0x448,  0x449,  0x44A,  0x44B,  0x44C,  0x44D,  0x44E,  0x44F,
0x401,  0x451,  0x404,  0x454,  0x407,  0x457,  0x40E,  0x45E,
0xB0,   0x2219, 0xB7,   0x221A, 0x2116, 0xA4,   0x25A0, 0xA0

bufToStr(buf, encoding, start, end)

Works almost like Node's buf.toString, converting a Buffer to a string.

Takes the following parameters:

  • buf is a source Buffer.

  • encoding is either a Node's Buffer encoding or a previously defined single-byte encoding.

  • start (optional, defaults to 0) and end (optional, defaults to buf.length) define the starting byte and the ending byte of the source byte sequence in the given Buffer. The endth byte is not included; for example, start == 0 and end == 1 means that only one (0th) byte is decoded.

If a Node.js Buffer's encoding is given, buf.toString is called and its result is returned.

Otherwise, a string is built of Unicode characters (the codes of these characters are found for each single byte of the source according to the encoding table for the given encoding) and returned.

Note:   if the encoding table contains a value in the 0x10000…0x10FFFF range, the Unicode character for such a byte corresponds to a UTF-16 surrogate pair and thus becomes two “characters” in the returned JavaScript string. (In JavaScript the “characters” of a string are actually UTF-16 hexadecets.)

strToBuf(str, encoding, encodingOptions)

Works almost like Node's new Buffer(str, encoding), converting a string to a Buffer.

Takes the following parameters:

  • str is a source string.

  • encoding is either a Node's Buffer encoding or a previously defined single-byte encoding.

  • encodingOptions (optional) is an object.

    • encodingOptions.defaultCode contains an integer code that is used for characters of str that are not present in the encoding table. Defaults to 0x3F (ASCII code of a question mark, '?').

If a Node.js Buffer's encoding is given, new Buffer(str, encoding) is called and its result is returned.

Otherwise, characters are taken sequentially from str and a Buffer is built of (single byte) character codes found in the encoding table. (When the table does not contain a byte value corresponding to the Unicode of some character, encodingOptions.defaultCode is used.) That Buffer is returned.

Error processing

If an error is encountered, the module throws new Error('…') with one of the predefined strings (error descriptions). You may see these strings in the bottom of singlebyte.js.

Testing singlebyte

(build testing status)

It is necessary to install Mocha and JSHint for testing.

  • You may install Mocha globally (npm install mocha -g) or locally (npm install mocha in the directory of singlebyte).

  • You may install JSHint globally (npm install jshint -g) or locally (npm install jshint in the directory of singlebyte).

After that you may run npm test (in the directory of singlebyte) for testing.


MIT License, see the LICENSE file.