ExpandCollapsePrev Next Index

+ 4.1 Array Types

Felix currently provides several array like types. These are:

  • carray: an incrementable pointer
  • array: a tuple with components all the same type
  • varray: a bounded variable length array object
  • darray: an unbounded variable length array object
  • sarray: a sparse array object without a length
  • bsarray: a bounded sparse array object
  • strdict: a string indexed associative store
  • Judy Array: high performance integer to integer map
Their properties can be classified as follows.

+ 4.1.1 Array Value

An array value is a readonly indexable store with amortised O(1) access times. It has two defining properties:

  len: A -> size
  unsafe_get: A * size -> T

and several derived properties:

     Checked common indexing.
    fun apply [I in ints] (i:I, x:t) => get (x,i.size);
    Checked common indexing.
    fun get[I in ints] (x:t, i:I) = { 
    Callback based value iterator.
    proc iter (_f:v->void) (x:t) {
    Callback based index and value iterator.
    Callback f index value.
    proc iiter (_f:size -> v->void) (x:t) {
      Stream  value iterator.
      gen iterator(xs:t) () : opt[v] = 
    Traditional left fold.
    fun fold_left[u] (_f:u->v->u) (init:u) (x:t): u = {
    Traditional right fold.
    fun fold_right[u] (_f:v->u->u) (x:t) (init:u): u = {
    // map: can't be implemented easily because constructor required for result
    Membership by predicate.
    fun mem(pred:v->bool) (x:t): bool 
    Membership by relation to given value. 
    fun mem[u] (rel:v*u->bool) (x:t) (e:u): bool =>
      mem (fun (i:v) => rel(i, e)) x
    Array as Set:
    Membership by equality of value type.
    instance[with Eq[v]] Set[t,v] {
      fun \(\in\) (elt:v, a:t) => mem eq of (v * v) a elt;
    Searching for value satisfying relation to given value.
    fun find (rel:v*v->bool) (x:t) (e:v): opt[v] = {
    Searching for value satisfying predicate.
    fun find(pred:v->bool) (x:t): opt[v] 

+ 4.1.2 Array

The built-in array type is a fixed length first class value which is a special case of a tuple with all elements the same type. For example

  val a = 1,2,3,4;

has type

  int^4 = array[int,4]

A component of an array can be fetched using an value of the index type as a projection function. Such indexes cannot exceed array bounds. Unlike tuples, the projection index can be an expression.

  println$ (case 1 of 4) a;
  println$ a . (case 1 of 4);
  val k = case 1 of 4;
  println$ a . k;


For your convenience you may also index an array with any integer type. The value is converted to the array's actual index type, so again array bounds cannot be exceeded, however the conversion may fail.

  println$ a . 1;  // converted to case 1 of 4
  println$ a . 1uz;  // converted to case 1 of 4
  //println$ a . 22; // fails at compile time
  var one = 1;
  //printn$ a . (one + 22); // assertion failure at run time


If you use an integral literal or simple constant expression and the value is out of bounds, Felix may trap the error at compile time. If the expression is too complex, it will instead be checked at run time. If the expression is simple enough and the compiler can determine it is in bounds, the check may be optimised away.

If the proper index type is used, no check is required and none will be generated. Note again these are technically not array bounds checks, but a checked type conversion. Therefore instead of this code:

  val a1 = 1,2,3,4;
  val a2 = 5,6,7,8;
  var j = 1;
  println$ a1 . j, a2 . j;

(2, 6)

it is better to write:

  val i : 4 = 1 :>> 4;
  println$ a1 . i, a2 . i;

(2, 6)

to reduce the number of checked conversions from 2 to 1.

The length of an array may be obtained at run time with the len method:

  println$ a.len;


which returns a value of type size.

Felix also provides the method get and unsafe_get:

  println$ unsafe_get (a, 1.size), get (a, 1.size);

(2, 2)

which are standard for all arrays. The get method does a bounds check then calls the unsafe_get method. Integer indexing maps to the get method.

Caveat: Unfortunately the unsafe_get method does a conversion to the proper index type which is also checked, so bounds checks are performed twice. The conversion cannot be avoided by using a C primitive because builtin fixed array type supports multi-indices of compact linear type. See the separate tutorial section on generalised arrays for details.