strsplit: the deliminator on both sides was still kept but not removed

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I am using strsplit to split a string by space using R2016a. I expect all the space was removed, but I got:
strsplit(' aa bb cc ',' ')
ans = '' 'aa' 'bb' 'cc' ''
Is this results supposed to be, or is there something wrong with the installed version of matlab on this PC(e.g., hard drive hitted by cosmic rays so some library was corrupted)? Thus I tried Matlab online and got the same results:
a = strsplit(' aa bb cc ',' ')
a =
1×5 cell array
{0×0 char} {'aa'} {'bb'} {'cc'} {0×0 char}
It's confusing that the 0×0 char was returned. on the left and right most slde

Accepted Answer

dpb on 19 Sep 2021
Edited: dpb on 20 Sep 2021
WAD (Working As Designed)
>> a = strsplit(' aa bb cc ',' ')
a =
1×5 cell array
{0×0 char} {'aa'} {'bb'} {'cc'} {0×0 char}
>> a = strsplit(strtrim(' aa bb cc '),' ')
a =
1×3 cell array
{'aa'} {'bb'} {'cc'}
The delimiter comes first and last in the original input string -- that there isn't anything before or after is not important to strsplit; it creates a field based on the number of delimited fields in the string, not on the content of those fields.
If you don't want the leading/trailing blanks to be significant, remove them first as shown.
  1 Comment
dpb on 20 Sep 2021
I have often (occasionally?) wished for an enhancement that would work with variable number of delimiters in the records in the input cell array

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