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Wrapping an array in a container interface

By MaryWeilage Editor ·
This week's C++ e-newsletter describes how to wrap an array in a container interface. Do you think you'll use the methods illustrated in this tip to disguise a built-in array in a high-level wrapper without changing its low-level nature?

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Why not just use a vector?

by leeschoff In reply to Wrapping an array in a co ...

My inclination for all single dimension arrays is to simply use an STL vector. That has provided all the functionality I have ever needed.

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time critical, exception safe apps and C interface

by dannyk In reply to Why not just use a vector ...

As explained in the tip, this technique is useful in several cases. First, when you need to interface with C, which of course knows nothing about vectors. Secondly, it's useful in time-critical code, where the overhead of dynamic allocation, reallocation and deallocation are unacceptable or undesirable for some other reasons. Notice that unlike STL vector, this wrapper allocates storage statically and doesn't require explicit deallocation or a destructor.

As always, not every tip is suitable for every program or programmer; if vector serves you well then there's no need to downgrade your code; however, for those who don't consider vector a viable option (and there are many, trust me), this workaround hits the right spot.

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vector fits the bill

by John Torjo In reply to time critical, exception ...

std::vector fits the bill.

If you want to use a C-like array, you must know its size. Therefore, you can also use a vector and do a reserve or resize first.

As for the C interface, you can always do:
&*vect.begin(), which will return a pointer to the first element. I have yet to see a vector implementation that does not keep elements contiguously.

And you mentioned exception safe in the title, but not in the description.


Best,
John

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