Copyright © 2001-2004 Nicolai M. Josuttis
Table of Contents
The C++ Standard Template Library STL as part of the C++ Standard Library provides a framework for processing algorithms on different kind of containers. However, ordinary arrays don't provide the interface of STL containers (although, they provide the iterator interface of STL containers).
As replacement for ordinary arrays, the STL provides class std::vector. However, std::vector<> provides the semantics of dynamic arrays. Thus, it manages data to be able to change the number of elements. This results in some overhead in case only arrays with static size are needed.
In his book, Generic Programming and the STL, Matthew H. Austern introduces a useful wrapper class for ordinary arrays with static size, called block. It is safer and has no worse performance than ordinary arrays. In The C++ Programming Language, 3rd edition, Bjarne Stroustrup introduces a similar class, called c_array, which I (Nicolai Josuttis) present slightly modified in my book The C++ Standard Library - A Tutorial and Reference, called carray. This is the essence of these approaches spiced with many feedback from boost.
After considering different names, we decided to name this class simply array.
Note that this class is suggested to be part of the next Technical Report, which will extend the C++ Standard (see http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc22/wg21/docs/papers/2003/n1548.htm).
Class array fulfills most but not all of the requirements of "reversible containers" (see Section 23.1, [lib.container.requirements] of the C++ Standard). The reasons array is not an reversible STL container is because:
It doesn't fulfill the requirements of a "sequence" (see Section 23.1.1, [lib.sequence.reqmts] of the C++ Standard), except that:
Last revised: January 30, 2004 at 03:51:06 GMT