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 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 confuse them by thinking that a snippet may be ColdFusion code.

I have collected these ColdFusion-like JavaScript functions over the last 20 years. I am unsure where some of these originated- or if I wrote them myself. Some 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, some based on other ColdFusion custom functions, and I have tried my best to recognize the 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 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 function 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', 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 it 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

This function is identical to the listAppend ColdFusion method. It 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' 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,Saguaro 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 that could consume many 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