PSA: SmallVector<T> Just Works

TL;DR: SmallVector now chooses a default “N”, and we recommend using that default.

We hope that this will

  • Avoid semi-arbitrary choices for the “N” parameter.
  • Save you extra edit/compile cycles for forgotten “N” parameters.
  • Avoid some of the pathological cases of SmallVector use (like sizeof(SmallVector) becoming excessively large)

The programmer’s manual has been updated, and now reads

In the absence of a well-motivated choice for the number of inlined elements N, it is recommended to use SmallVector<T> (that is, omitting the N). This will choose a default number of inlined elements reasonable for allocation on the stack (for example, trying to keep sizeof(SmallVector<T>) around 64 bytes).

We haven’t planned any big refactoring to use the new default, so we are expecting it to catch on organically in new code / code reviews / refactorings.

Enjoy! :slight_smile:

For historical reference: This landed in after much discussion on the list and an earlier attempt at a patch which went back and forth on various ideas, including more general aspirations for SmallVector’s evolution.

– Sean Silva

Awesome, thank you Sean!


Just an update on this that the same is now true of to_vector with, so you can write to_vector without template arguments in the common case where the value type is inferrable.