For the brave and or insterested, take a look at NumericDataTypeConversions.h (BSD license). Bug reports or patches are welcome. Since it's a C++ header, any Objetive-C file that includes it will have to have the .mm extension (or otherwise ensure that the file is compiled as Objective-C++). Happy coding.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
We've been spoiled working in Python's numpy array library. Converting data types or byte order for numeric data in a numpy array is trivial (thanks to the work of numpy's authors of course). When we're in Objective-C land, the inability to change data types or byte orders on NSData instances is frustrating. So we've written a short C++ header that provides templated functions for converting the data type and/or byte order of numeric data stored in NSData/NSMutableData instances. I think it might be useful for others who don't want to (re)learn C++ and the STL. Writing code in Objective-C to accomplish the same functionality is a mess of if/then/else or switch statements. Every job has a tool and C++ templates seem to be the best tool for this job (numpy's authors have a similar solution using a code generator to keep things all in C).