...one of the most highly
regarded and expertly designed C++ library projects in the
world. — Herb Sutter and Andrei
Copyright © 2001-2004 Nicolai M. Josuttis
Copyright © 2012 Marshall Clow
Distributed under the Boost Software License, Version 1.0.
(See accompanying file
LICENSE_1_0.txt or copy at
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
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
Note that this class is suggested to be part of the next Technical Report, which will extend the C++ Standard (see http://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg21/docs/papers/2003/n1548.htm).
std::array is (as of C++11) part of the C++ standard.
The differences between
std::array are minimal.
If you are using C++11, you should consider using
std::array instead of
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
swap() has no constant complexity.
size() is always constant, based on the second template argument of the type.
It doesn't fulfill the requirements of a "sequence" (see Section 23.1.1, [lib.sequence.reqmts] of the C++ Standard), except that:
back() are provided.
at() are provided.