Purpose and Examples of Strings
– Strings store human-readable text
– Used to communicate information from a program to the user
– Accept string input from users
– Store data expressed as characters not intended for human reading
– Can represent alphabetical data, such as nucleic acid sequences
– Examples of string purposes: displaying messages to end users, storing user-entered text in a database, representing nucleic acid sequences, storing computer settings or parameters in a URL query string, communicating information primarily to computers

History and Implementation of Strings
– The term ‘string’ dates back centuries and emerged from mathematics, symbolic logic, and linguistic theory
– Early string handling and pattern matching languages for computers: COMIT and SNOBOL
– String datatypes are implemented in nearly every programming language as primitive or composite types
– String length can be fixed or variable, with variable-length strings being more common in modern programming languages
– Some languages have mutable strings (can be changed after creation) while others have immutable strings (cannot be changed)
– Strings can be represented in different ways based on character repertoire and encoding, such as ASCII, EBCDIC, and Unicode with encodings like UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32

String Representations and Terminators
– String representations depend on character repertoire and encoding
– Older implementations used ASCII or ISO 8859 series, while modern implementations use Unicode with encodings like UTF-8 and UTF-16
– Strings can be implemented as variable-length arrays with character codes or byte strings
– Null-terminated strings store the length implicitly using a special terminating character, such as the null character (NUL)
– Other termination methods include special bytes or bits, length prefix, and word mark bit

Security Concerns and Literal Strings
– Different string representations can affect program security, with terminating character representations susceptible to buffer overflow problems
– Bounds checking is necessary to ensure program code accessing string data stays within memory limits
– Limited or no validation of user input can make a program vulnerable to code injection attacks
– Literal strings are embedded inside human-readable text files for machine consumption and use quotation marks and escape sequences
– NUL character is not suitable as a terminator in literal strings, and newline sequences can be used to terminate literal strings in some file formats

String Processing Algorithms and Languages/Utilities
– Many algorithms exist for processing strings, including searching, manipulation, sorting, regular expressions, parsing, and sequence mining
– Stringology is the theory of algorithms and data structures used for string processing
– Several languages and utilities are designed to make string processing applications easier to write, such as awk, Icon, Perl, Ruby, sed, and Tcl
– Unix utilities can perform simple string manipulations and powerful string processing algorithms
– Some APIs use strings to hold commands that will be interpreted, and scripting languages employ regular expressions for text operations and string interpolation  Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_(computer_science)

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