C array to Typed Array conversion

sderossi edited this page Jun 11, 2014 · 4 revisions

In cheerp, C++ arrays of basic data types such as char, unsigned char, short, unsigned short, int, unsigned int, float and double are backed by JavaScript typed array of corresponding types.

Cheerp provides a few APIs to convert C++ arrays to the underlying Typed Array objects. This is especially useful to pass C++ data directly to browser APIs such as WebGL.


template<typename T> struct TypedArrayForPointerType;

Template helper to get the corresponding Typed Array type for a specific C data type. The desired type is available as the ::type member. For example

TypedArrayForPointerType<unsigned short>::type

The following mapping applies:

  • char -> Int8Array
  • unsigned char -> Uint8Array
  • short -> Int16Array
  • unsigned short -> Uint16Array
  • int -> Int32Array
  • unsigned int -> Uint32Array
  • float -> Float32Array
  • double -> Float64Array


There are two implementations of this function. Both accept two arguments: a pointer to an array of any of the aforementioned data types, and an optional size argument. The default value is 0, meaning "until the end of the underlying array". The returned value is a pointer to a typed array instance.

CAUTION: The returned typed array references the same memory as the passed pointer, no copies are done to guarantee the efficiency of this operation. Please be careful when modifying the memory as the compiler may or may not understand that the typed array alias the same memory as the pointer. This function is designed to pass C++ data to browser APIs with low overhead.

Implicitly typed version

template<typename P,typename T=typename TypedArrayForPointerType<P>::type>
T* MakeTypedArray(const P* ptr, size_t size=0)

This function returns a typed array for the underlying memory of the ptr pointer. The return type depends on the type of ptr and follows the mapping of the TypedArrayForPointerType template helper.

Explicitly typed version

template<typename T>
T* MakeTypedArray(const void* ptr, size_t size=0)

This function returns a typed array for the underlying memory of the ptr pointer, the return type must be explicitly provided by the user. Any pointer type can be passed as ptr, but the result is undefined behavior if the underlying memory is not an array of a basic data type.


client::ArrayBufferView* MakeArrayBufferView(const void* ptr, size_t size=0)

Returns an untyped ArrayBufferView of the underlying memory of the ptr pointer. No data copy is performed and the returned object alias the same memory as the ptr pointer. The safety considerations about memory aliasing which are valid for MakeTypedArray are valid for MakeArrayBufferView as well.

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