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Function for sanitizing field name strings

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We have a file parser function (Midas BLUE) that generates structure arrays for some of the keyword/value pairs that can occur. The existing code uses deblank() to get rid of trailing strings, but the code bombs when the keyword contains a period(.) for instance. Is there a function that is similar to what readtable() uses to parse out field names to always return a valid name?

Accepted Answer

Rik
Rik on 25 Aug 2023
s = 'name with spaces and a . in the middle';
matlab.lang.makeValidName(s)
ans = 'nameWithSpacesAndA_InTheMiddle'
  2 Comments
Martin Ryba
Martin Ryba on 25 Aug 2023
That's exactly what I need, the help also mentions the makeUniqueStrings function, which is good to use instead of the hack that's in the code right now. I just wish that function was easier to find; I tried using "sanitize" as a keyword and that didn't help me find it.
Rik
Rik on 25 Aug 2023
I believe a function like this has existed in the Matlab code base since the introduction of jsondecode, although I'm not entirely positive on that point.
I don't know if I would have expected this function to show up with that search term, but I understand your point. Discoverability of functions is sometimes the hardest part of a programming language.
At least I could help this time, and perhaps now it will show up in google results with similar search terms.

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