Designs for new Base array interface primitives, used widely through scientific machine learning (SciML) and other organizations
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Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
October 2018


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The AbstractArray interface in Base Julia is still relatively young. The purpose of this library is to solidify extensions to the current AbstractArray interface, which are put to use in package ecosystems like DifferentialEquations.jl. Since these libraries are live, this package will serve as a staging ground for ideas before they are merged into Base Julia. For this reason, no functionality is exported so that if such functions are added and exported in a future Base Julia, there will be no issues with the upgrade.

List of things to add

Array Types to Handle

The following common array types are being understood and tested as part of this development.

  • Array
  • Various versions of sparse arrays
  • SArray
  • MArray
  • FieldVector
  • ArrayPartition
  • VectorOfArray
  • DistributedArrays
  • GPUArrays (CLArrays and CuArrays)
  • AFArrays
  • MultiScaleArrays
  • LabelledArrays


If one is looking for an interface which includes functionality for statically-computed values, see StaticArrayInterface.jl. This was separated from ArrayInterface.jl because it includes a lot of functionality that does not give substantive improvements to the interface, and is likely to be deprecated in the near future as the compiler matures to automate a lot of its optimizations.

Breaking Release Notes

7.0: Setup to use the new v1.9 package extensions. All static interface functions were moved to StaticArrayInterface.jl. All packages using one of the subpackages (ArrayInterfaceCore, ArrayInterfaceStaticArrays, etc.) should update to v7 by simply depending on ArrayInterface.jl, unless static interface functions were used in which case a dependency on StaticArrayInterface.jl is also necessary.

6.0: ArrayInterface.jl completely removed all usage of Requires.jl and conditional dependencies due to compile time impact. All of the Requires.jl support changed to subpackages within the repository which are registered in the General registry. These subpackages are required by any packages which seek to use the additional functionality.

2.0: Changed the default of ismutable(array::AbstractArray) = true. We previously defaulted to Base.@pure ismutable(array::AbstractArray) = typeof(array).mutable, but there are a lot of cases where this tends to not work out in a way one would expect. For example, if you put a normal array into an immutable struct that adds more information to it, this is considered immutable, even if all of the setindex! methods work (by forwarding to the mutable array). Thus, it seems safer to just always assume mutability is standard for an array, and allow arrays to opt-out.