Here's what I'm trying out:

Substitute characters into values with no set left bits;
check if the next position is a vowel(or whatever), turn it into a
value with no right bits set, join the two characters
into a single byte, delete the unused position now.

Here's the code using it, that I'm trying to get to work:

for(int i = 0; i < str.length(); i++)
{  
   /*swaps common letters with stuff in the 32-47 range*/  
   str[i] = Subcipher(str[i]);
         
   if(str[i] < 127)
   {
      /*attempt to bring that common swapped stuff, below 16*/
      str[i] -= 32;
             
      /*check are bounadries!*/
      if(str.length() - 1 != i)
      {
         /*if less/equal than 00001111*/
         if(str[i] < 16)
         {
            /*is it in the alphabet range?*/
            if(str[i + 1] > 96 && str[i + 1] < 118)
            {
               temp = str[i + 1];

               if(temp == 'a') { temp = 128;  join = true; }
               /*...replacing vowels and stuff with no right set bits...*/
               else if(temp == 'u') { temp = 240; join = true; }
                     
               if(join)
               {
                             str[i] |= temp;
                             str.erase(i + 1, 1);
                             join = false;
}   }  }  }  }  }

The problem is that when I attempt to "join" the values, it becomes negative/less than 128, even when I use something like str[i] +=temp; , instead.

Can anyone point out if I'm just being stupid?

BTW, this is a compression algorithm that places vowels into a single byte, using the extended ASCII values to shove them on-top of. The reverse should be simpler, just having to shift stuff back-and-forth by four.

assuming str is of type 'string', str is of type 'char'. chars will be considered negative whenever the top bit is set. It's not an issue if you are bitwise ORing, as you will get the correct result.

If it annoys you, feel free to cast to unsigned char, as necessary.

assuming str is of type 'string', str is of type 'char'. chars will be considered negative whenever the top bit is set. It's not an issue if you are bitwise ORing, as you will get the correct result.

If it annoys you, feel free to cast to unsigned char, as necessary.

Inaccurate statement. The char type may be signed or unsigned, it's an implementation-dependent issue. All chars with true predicate c > '\0' && c <= '\x7f' (ascii-chars) are converted to positive integers, others may be positive or negative (or zero).
So before any manipulations with char bits assign char value to int or unsigned int to suppress possible left bit sign effect, for example:

int ich;
...
ich = (str[i]&0xFF); // absolutely portable code

I see what I was doing now, thinking backwards again and confusing the ranges of unsigned and signed.
It's working now, all I have to do is fix up my substitution cipher and I have my first working compression algorithm - I feel happy :)
Thanks!

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