[Rcpp-devel] Yet another design question regarding Rcpp

Douglas Bates bates at stat.wisc.edu
Tue May 4 22:26:48 CEST 2010

In the files src/MatrixNs.{h,cpp} of the lme4a package (the
development version of lme4, available only from R-forge) I create C++
classes that parallel some of the S4 classes in the Matrix package for
R.  Most of the time I apply operations in those classes to numeric
vectors passed as arguments or components of arguments from R.  Thus
many of the function signatures include arguments of the form

NumericVector const&

If I have a more complex operation to perform in C++ using temporary
storage I could allocate the storage by declaring

 NumericVector bar(foo.size());

or something like that, even though this vector will never be touched
by R.  I think this is the simplest approach so that I only need to
use one set of function signatures in the MatrixNs.h declarations.

Alternatively I could declared multiple function signatures for both
NumericVector const& and std::vector<double> const& arguments and
allocate the temporary storage using std::vector<double> instead of

Or I could even declare all the function arguments as
std::vector<double> const& and convert the NumericVector objects to
that form (although I think that might involve some copying) before
passing them.

I am currently favoring using NumericVector to allocate the
temporaries, even though the storage must be allocated and freed
through R's mechanisms.


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