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[Format] Pointer types / span types


Hi,

Today I got the opportunity to talk with Jim Pivarski, the main
developer on the OAMap project (*).  Under the hood, he is doing
something not unlike the Arrow representation of nested arrays: he
stores and processes structured data as linear arrays, allowing very
fast processing on seemingly irregular data (in Array parlance, think
something like lists of lists of structs).  It seems that OAMap data
requires two kinds of logical types that Arrow misses :

- a pointer type, where a physical array of ints is used to represent
indices into another array (the logical value being of course the value
pointed to)
- a span type, where two physical arrays of ints are used to represent
start and stop indices into another array (the logical value being the
list of values delimited by the start / stop indices)

Did such a feature request already come by?  Is this something we should
add to our roadmap or future wishlist?

(*) https://github.com/diana-hep/oamap

Regards

Antoine.



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