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Volume 7, Issue 4
2000

While packed arrays may sound quite mysterious and deep, the idea is really quite simple. When it is clearly appropriate to represent a list of single-type machine numbers (integer, real, or complex) internally as an array, Mathematica does so. The basic technology is actually there in Mathematica 3.0, and is visible in the List operations which were added to the compiler. Basically what we have done for Mathematica 4.0 is to extend this representation to kernel functions where it is appropriate.

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Rob Knapp
Wolfram Research, Inc.
rknapp@wolfram.com