PHP Classes

bitvec: Manipulate arrays of bits with SplFixedArray class

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bitvec 1.0Public Domain5.0PHP 5, Data types
Description Author

This package can manipulate arrays of bits with SplFixedArray class.

It provides an array interface to store a given fixed number of bits.

The array of bits can be traversed with an iterator interface that allows accessing the bits with regular functions for accessing arrays.

Innovation Award
PHP Programming Innovation award nominee
January 2013
Number 5

Prize: One downloadable copy of Komodo IDE
The regular arrays in PHP are implemented internally as hash tables.

This means that the access to any array element access requires the computation of a hash value and the eventual traversal of a linked list of array elements.

For arrays with entries indexed by their numeric position, it is faster to use the SplFixedArray class.

This class uses the SplFixedArray class to provide a faster interface to access arrays of bits.

Manuel Lemos
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Name: CPK Smithies <contact>
Classes: 7 packages by
Country: United Kingdom United Kingdom
Age: 62
All time rank: 155267 in United Kingdom United Kingdom
Week rank: 300 Up11 in United Kingdom United Kingdom Up
Innovation award
Innovation award
Nominee: 4x

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.

  Files folder image Files  
File Role Description
Files folder imagetests (2 files)
Plain text file bitvec.php Class Bitvec class source
Accessible without login Plain text file LICENCE Doc. Licence terms
Accessible without login Plain text file phpdoc.dist.xml Data Configuration for generating the HTML documentation
Accessible without login Plain text file phpunit.xml.dist Data Unit test configuration
Accessible without login Plain text file README Doc. About the package

  Files folder image Files  /  tests  
File Role Description
  Accessible without login Plain text file bvt1.php Test Unit tests on bitvec, demo prime generation
  Accessible without login Plain text file prime.php Example Demo using bitvec to generate primes using sieve techniques

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