Scopira  20080306
Generic arrays

Note! See Numeric arrays if you want arrays (and multidimentional arrays) for numeric computing.

Scopira includes several basic, generic arrays. These classes have several distinct characterists when compared to std::vector.


scopira::tool::basic_array is a simple template class that implements a straight dynamic array. It can be of any type. This template should be used instead of dynamic C arrays.

For example:

mytype *foo = 0;
foo = new mytype[500];
delete foo;
foo = new mytype[200];
delete foo;

Could be replaced with:


Note that basic_array's constructor, destructor and resize methods all take care of any proper memory clean up needs.

Other features of scopira::tool::basic_array include:

  • All methods (except for resize()) are inline, incurring no performance penalty for use. scopira::tool::basic_array::resize() itself is made non-inline to reduce code instantiation bloat.
  • Compared to (C++ STL's) std::vector, basic_array has decidedly less features. In particular, resize()s (like C arrays) are destructive. Incremental element addition is also not provided.
  • Debug mode builds have bounds checking on all elements accesses, via assert().
  • STL-compatible iterators are provided, thereby making the structure usable with many generic functions.
  • basic_array guarantees that the internal structure is that of a C array. This makes it usable in many places where a C array is needed. You may access this array via scopira::tool::basic_array::c_array()


scopira::tool::fixed_array is a template class that implements constant size C arrays. For example, code like this:

char foo[100];

Could be replaced by:

Fixed arrays provide the following benefits:

  • Access methods consistent with scopira::tool::basic_array and other Scopira vector classes.
  • Debug mode bounds checking via assert().
  • STL-compatible iterators.
  • All methods are inline - resulting in no performance costs over C arrays.


scopira::tool::basic_matrix is a template class that that implements a two dimensional matrix or grid of objects. The matrix has a width and height. The matrix is thought to have graphics-like coordinates. That is, the first coordinate (x) go from 0 to width, left to right. The second coordinate (y) goes from 0 to height, top down.

Internally, this class utilizes scopira::tool::basic_array. The following additional methods are provided:

  • width() and height() that return the dimetions of the structure.
  • set(), get() and resize() methods, that work as expected but all require two dimensions.


scopira::tool::hybrid_array is a scopira::tool::basic_array that has some preallocaed storage via an internal scopira::tool::fixed_array. This is particularly handy when most of the uses of the array will only require a few elements, but still need the flexibily of heap allocated storage for the few cases that go over this threshold.