While writing an article with complex JavaScript for my next Kendo UI article, I noticed that I used some ColdFusion-like JavaScript functions to compare comma-separated lists and realized that I should first share the code. I don't want to confuse my readers and have them wonder where this JavaScript function came from or to confuse the reader by thinking that a snippet may be ColdFusion code.

I have collected these ColdFusion-like JavaScript functions over the last 20 years. I am not sure where some of these originated from- or if I wrote them myself. I believe that a few of these scripts may have originated from an old repository of JavaScripts tailored for the ColdFusion community, but I have not found this source for the last several years. I wrote or modified many of these scripts, and some of these are based on other ColdFusion custom functions and have tried my best to recognize the original source. 

If you have any functions to add or suggest revisions, please let me know!

Appending Values to a Form

Although this is not similar to an existing ColdFusion function per se- I use it a lot to create and store lists inside hidden forms. I generally use this when looping through data on the client and appending new values to the form.

When the form is posted, I simply pass the values inside of the form to ColdFusion for server-side processing. The last delimiter argument is optional.

/* This function appends a value to a specified element in the DOM. Delimiter is optional and defaults to a comma */
function appendValueToElement(value,elementId,delimiter){
	// Written by Gregory Alexander
	// The delimiter is optional and defaults to a comma
	if (delimiter == null){
		var delimiter = ",";

	// Get the element
	el = $("#" + elementId);
	// Does the value contain anything?
	if (el.val().length > 0){
		// Append the new value to the existing form
		el.val(el.val() + delimiter + value);
	} else { 
		// Insert the value into the empty form

replaceNoCase JavaScript Function

I wrote this to replicate the replaceNoCase ColdFusion function. This replaces the occurrences of substring1 with substring2 in the specified scope and is case insensitive. The scope is either 'one' or 'all' and defaults to one if not supplied.

If you want to use a case sensitive replace function, remove the 'i' flag

Example: replaceNoCase('ColdFusion is the best server-side language','ColdFusion','Lucee', 'all')

This will substitute Lucee for ColdFusion in the string 'ColdFusion is the best server-side language' and return 'Lucee is the best server-side language'.

I am not trying to degrade ACF in any way (I don't yet use Lucee), but hopefully, the Lucee fans may get a kick out of this!

// Gregory Alexander <www.gregoryalexander.com>
function replaceNoCase(string, subString, replacement, scope){
	if(scope == null) { scope = 'one'; }
	if (scope == 'all'){
		// i is a RegEx ignore case flag, g is global flag
		var regEx = new RegExp(subString, "ig");
	} else {
		// i is an RegEx ignore case flag
		var regEx = new RegExp(subString, "i");
	// i is an ignore case flag, g is global flag
	var regEx = new RegExp(subString, "ig");
	var result = string.replace(regEx, replacement);
	return result;

listLen JavaScript function

This is a simple function that provides the length of a list and replicates the listLen ColdFusion function.

Usage: listLen(list [, delimiters ])

Example: listLen('Mount Rainier National Park,Olympic National Park,North Cascades National Park');

This will return the numeric value of 3 representing the number of National Parks in Washington State.

function listLen(list, delimiter){
	// Gregory Alexander <www.gregoryalexander.com>
	if(delimiter == null) { delimiter = ','; }
	var thisLen = list.split(delimiter);
	return thisLen.length;

listGetAt JavaScript Function

Gets a list value found at a certain position in a list. This should be identical to the ColdFusion listGetAt function.

Usage: listGetAt(list, position [, delimiters])

Example: listGetAt('Arches National Park,Bryce Canyon National Park,Canyonlands National Park,Capitol Reef National Park,Zion National Park', 1, ',');

This will return 'Arches National Park' which is the first element in the list. 

function listGetAt(list, position, delimiter) {
	// Gregory Alexander <www.gregoryalexander.com>
	if(delimiter == null) { delimiter = ','; }
	list = list.split(delimiter);
	if(list.length > position) {
		return list[position-1];
	} else {
		return 0;

listFind JavaScript Function

Like the listFind ColdFusion function, this will return the index position in a list if finds the value, or return zero if nothing was found. I am not sure of the original authorship. The search is case-sensitive.

Usage: ListFind(list, value [, delimiters ])

Example: listFind('1,2,3,4,5,6','5');

This example will return a 5 as it is the 5th index in the list.

function listFind(list, value, delimiter) {
	// Adapted from a variety of sources by Gregory Alexander <www.gregoryalexander.com>

	var result = 0;
	if(delimiter == null) delimiter = ',';
	list = list.split(delimiter);
	for ( var i = 0; i < list.length; i++ ) {
		if ( value == list[i] ) {
			result = i + 1;
			return result;
	return result;

See https://copyprogramming.com/howto/what-is-the-fastest-implementation-of-coldfusion-s-listfindnocase-function-in-javascript for a different approach to this solution.

ListAppend JavaScript Function

Identical to the listAppend ColdFusion method. This function concatenates a list or element to a list and returns a string.

Usage: listAppend(list, value)

Example: listAppend('Glacier National Park', 'Yellowstone National Park');

This example will append Yellowstone National Park to the list and return 'Glacier National Park', 'Yellowstone National Park' which are the national parks within Montana.

// Adds a value to a comma-separated list. Will not add the value if the list already contains the value.
function listAppend(list, value) {
  // Adapted from a variety of sources by Gregory Alexander <www.gregoryalexander.com>
  var re = new RegExp('(^|)' + value + '(|$)');
  if (!re.test(list)) {
	return list + (list.length? ',' : '') + value;
  return list;

listDeleteValue JavaScript function

This JavaScript function deletes a value within a list and is based on Ben Nadel's listDeleteValue function found on GitHub

Usage: listDeleteValue(list, value)

Example: listDeleteValue('Grand Canyon National Park,Saguro National Park,Indian Ocean', 'Indian Ocean');

This will delete 'Indian Ocean' from a list of parks in Arizona and will return 'Grand Canyon National Park,Saguro National Park'

// Removes a value in a comma separated list. Based on the ListDeleteValue function by Ben Nadel CF fuction https://gist.github.com/bennadel/9753040
var listDeleteValue = function(list, value){
	// Adapted from a variety of sources by Gregory Alexander <www.gregoryalexander.com>
	var values = list.split(",");
	for(var i = 0 ; i < values.length ; i++) {
		if (values[i] == value) {
			values.splice(i, 1);
			return values.join(",");
	return list;

MyDump JavaScript function that replicates the cfdump ColdFusion function

This handy function dumps out a JavaScript object to the console log. It was meant to provide functionality similar to the cfdump tag in ColdFusion. 

Usage: mydump(arr, level)

Note: this should be used carefully as it contains a lot of data which could consume a lot of resources.

// function to dump out a a javascript object.
function mydump(arr,level) {
	var dumped_text = "";
	if(!level) level = 0;

	var level_padding = "";
	for(var j=0;j<level+1;j++) level_padding += "    ";

	if(typeof(arr) == 'object') {  
		for(var item in arr) {
			var value = arr[item];

			if(typeof(value) == 'object') { 
				dumped_text += level_padding + "'" + item + "' ...
				dumped_text += mydump(value,level+1);
			} else {
				dumped_text += level_padding + "'" + item + "' => "" + value + ""
	} else { 
		dumped_text = "===>"+arr+"<===("+typeof(arr)+")";

Further Reading:

  • If you want a more comprehensive library, check out the cfjs project that has replicated 90 ColdFusion functions on GitHub.
  • James Molberg has developed a comprehensive tool to replicate the functionality of cfdump. See Javascript version of ColdFusion CFDump