From: Andrew Hunt <andy / Toolshed.Com>

> >> Except that this form makes a copy of the bignum, and for
> >> a 40k pile of bits that's pretty slow :-(.
> >
> >In this case, why not use an array of shorter integers?
> >
> >  def set_bit(vector, index)
> >    bucket = index & 63
> >    bit = index >> 6
> >    vector[bucket] |= 1 << bit
> >  end
>
> Oh sure, I could.  I could also write my own hash functions,
> etc.  It just seems like a basic enough facility to warrant
> inclusion in the language, that's all (plus a small speed
> advantage to coding it in C).

Well, efficient bit vectors are pretty important and fairly widely used for
cryptography, digital logic design, process control stuff, and all sorts of
other things. So I am in favor of them being included in the language (and I
expect the speed advantage of being coded in C would be pretty large in many
cases of interest to application developers).

Conrad