Wrap an ArrayBuffer to make it work like a binary string
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Wrap an ArrayBuffer to make it work like a binary string.

Working with binary strings in JavaScript is memory-inefficient: every character requires two bytes even though every character represents only a single byte.

ArrayBuffer and TypedArrays (like Uint8Array) are much better alternatives and are now supported in just about all browsers.

But sometimes the data you are working with does actually include ASCII text, and you need to string methods like indexOf() and slice().

This class defines an ArrayBufferView wrapper around ArrayBuffers so that you can treat them like strings, without paying the memory-doubling overhead of using real binary strings. Of course the tradeoff is that we don't get native peformance for methods like indexOf(). But JavaScript implementations have gotten so fast that this may just be okay.

This is an incomplete implementation. I wrote only the methods I had an immediate need for in FirefoxOS. I'm posting it here in the hopes that someone will fork it and flesh it out. With a full-featured implementation, it should be possible to port all the legacy code out there that is still using binary strings.