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Role: Documentation
Content type: text/plain
Description: About the package
Class: bitvec
Manipulate arrays of bits with SplFixedArray class
Author: By
Last change: Small wording change
Date: 6 years ago
Size: 2,994 bytes


Class file image Download
PHP bit vector (array of 0/1 values)
designed and written by CPKS

1. Introduction:

The bitvec class is a specialized array implementation for storing 0/1 values
only. Because of this limitation, it is possible to store multiple values in a
single integer. Use of SplFixedArray provides a memory-efficient vehicle to
deliver a relatively high capacity bit array.

A separate iterator class, bitvecIterator, has been provided to provide full
array iterator access to bitvec. For many applications this may be unnecessary
and the bitvec class alone will suffice.

Bit vectors are useful for certain numeric algorithms, and in particular for the
generation of primes using sieve techniques, where it can be advantageous to hold
a very large bit vector in memory.

2. Acknowledgments:

One application for bit vectors is the generation of primes. I signal my indebtedness
to for the prime.php file on this site, which provided a launchpad
for my rewritten version, used as a demo and test file in this package.

3. Licensing:

On licensing, please see the LICENCE file issued with this package.

4. Files in this package:

4.1 bitvec.php: bitvec and bitvecIterator classes

4.2 LICENCE: licensing details

4.3 phpunit.xml.dist: test configuration

4.4 phpdoc.dist.xml:
Assists the phpdoc documentation-generating package in producing documentation
for this package.

4.5 README: this file

4.6 tests/bvt1.php: Unit tests for bitvec class

4.7 tests/prime.php: Prime generation using bitvec according to several different
algorithms, provided as illustration of class use and as part of unit testing.

5. Documentation

I have elected to tailor this package to the PEAR phpdoc documentation system.
This produces good interactive HTML browsing capabilities together with an
SVG class diagram showing package and namespace relationships as well as
the object inheritance/implementation tree. See
for installation instructions. To generate the documentation, create a
directory called "doc" in the project base directory, and then run the
phpdoc command in that base directory.

6. Historical and design-related remarks on this package

The bitvec class is loosely based on my C++ class of the same name from 1991.

Although the PHP bitvec uses SplFixedArray, note that it does not extend the
SPL class. This is because some of the SplFixedArray functions really do not
correspond at all to bitvec functionality: there is no "is-a" relationship
here: a bitvec is not an SplFixedArray and certain operations mean something
different. In particular, no use is made of the SplFixedArray iterator
implementation, which has in any case been removed to bitvecIterator.

No use has been made of namespaces. Users of PHP >= 5.3 are recommended to
bring bitvec inside a namespace, e.g. storage. The code is ready for this to
be done.

Array bound violations are always caught by the SplFixedArray. Note that this
throws RuntimeException and not OutOfBoundsException.