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AREF-1D (Version 3)
- To: CL-Cleanup@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU
- Subject: AREF-1D (Version 3)
- From: Masinter.pa@Xerox.COM
- Date: 4 Jun 87 17:25 PDT
- Cc: Masinter.pa@Xerox.COM
Status: Ready for release.
I made the edits before seing Kent's revision, so I went ahead and
merged his version and mine. I will mail this version out to X3J13 next
week (unless I hear objections.)
References: Arrays (pp286-298)
Edit history: 22-Apr-87, Version 1 by Pitman
02-Jun-87, Version 2 by Pitman (call it ROW-MAJOR-AREF)
4-Jun-87, Version 3 by Masinter (very minor editorial
It's hard to write functions like Maclisp's LISTARRAY and FILLARRAY
efficiently in Common Lisp because they take arguments of varying arity.
Currently, you have to make a displaced array to work with temporarily
and then throw away the displaced array when you're done. In many cases,
this is bothersome because there is no a priori reason why they should
have to cons at all.
Introduce a new function ROW-MAJOR-AREF which allows one-dimensional
access to the storage backing up a given array assuming the normal
row-major storage layout.
ROW-MAJOR-AREF is valid for use with SETF.
Common Lisp requires row-major storage layout of arrays and has a number
of operators which allow users to exploit that order. ROW-MAJOR-AREF is
a useful, simple addition.
LISTARRAY and FILLARRAY, for example, could be trivially defined by
loops which had the following form:
(DOTIMES (I (ARRAY-TOTAL-SIZE ARRAY))
... (ROW-MAJOR-AREF ARRAY I) ...)
Currently, the only really efficient way to write this would involve
(ECASE (ARRAY-RANK ARRAY1)
((0) (SETF (AREF ARRAY1) (AREF ARRAY2)))
((1) (DOTIMES (I (ARRAY-DIMENSION ARRAY 0))
(SETF (AREF ARRAY1 I) (AREF ARRAY2 I))))
((2) (DOTIMES (I (ARRAY-DIMENSION ARRAY 0))
(DOTIMES (I (ARRAY-DIMENSION ARRAY 1))
(SETF (AREF ARRAY1 I J) (AREF ARRAY2 I J)))))
...some finite number of clauses...)
Many implementations have this primitive under some other name for use
internally. In Symbolics systems, for example, it is SYS:%1D-AREF.
This change is fairly localized. In implementations which already use
this primitive internally, it's little more than a matter of changing
the name of or otherwise releasing the existing primitive. In some
implementations, it might involve writing a small amount of code or
compiler work to make ROW-MAJOR-AREF work efficiently.
This gives users efficient access to something which they already have
inefficient access to.
This is an upward-compatible change; the name ROW-MAJOR-AREF is unlikely
to be used by any current program.
This allows certain programs to be written in a more aesthetic way.
The cleanup committee supports this enhancement.