Bitmasks and flags

yourbasic.org/golang

A bitmask is a small set of booleans, often called flags, represented by the bits in a single number.

type Bits uint8

const (
    F0 Bits = 1 << iota
    F1
    F2
)

func Set(b, flag Bits) Bits    { return b | flag }
func Clear(b, flag Bits) Bits  { return b &^ flag }
func Toggle(b, flag Bits) Bits { return b ^ flag }
func Has(b, flag Bits) bool    { return b&flag != 0 }

func main() {
    var b Bits
    b = Set(b, F0)
    b = Toggle(b, F2)
    for i, flag := range []Bits{F0, F1, F2} {
        fmt.Println(i, Has(b, flag))
    }
}
0 true
1 false
2 true

Larger bit sets

To represent larger sets of bits, you may want to use a custom data structure. The package github.com/yourbasic/bit provides a bit array implementation and some utility bit functions.

Because a bit array uses bit-level parallelism, limits memory access, and efficiently uses the data cache, it often outperforms other data structures. Here is an example that shows how to create the set of all primes less than n in O(n log log n) time using the bit.Set data structure from package bit. Try the code with n equal to a few hundred millions and be pleasantly surprised.

// Sieve of Eratosthenes
const n = 50
sieve := bit.New().AddRange(2, n)
sqrtN := int(math.Sqrt(n))
for p := 2; p <= sqrtN; p = sieve.Next(p) {
    for k := p * p; k < n; k += p {
        sieve.Delete(k)
    }
}
fmt.Println(sieve)
{2 3 5 7 11 13 17 19 23 29 31 37 41 43 47}

More code examples

Go blueprints: code for com­mon tasks is a collection of handy code examples.

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