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[jira] [Created] (ARROW-3478) [C++] API add value / null mask buffer accessor to ArrayData

Wolf Vollprecht created ARROW-3478:

             Summary: [C++] API add value / null mask buffer accessor to ArrayData
                 Key: ARROW-3478
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/ARROW-3478
             Project: Apache Arrow
          Issue Type: Improvement
          Components: C++
            Reporter: Wolf Vollprecht

Currently, the ArrayData struct has the `std::vector<Buffer> buffers` member.

The buffers will (from reading the code) either be [null_mask, data] or [data] (if the null mask does not exist).

I'm not sure if there is an easy way to get the null mask reliably at the moment. If I am understanding correctly, the way to do it right now is to check if the vector has one or two elements, and then use `buffers[0]` as the null mask, and `buffers[1]` as the values.

I also did not find information regarding this in the spec. So I am not sure if I can rely on this behavior in future versions of the library.

I am wondering wether adding explicit API for this would make this more reliable. 


For example two more interface functions
 * `std::shared_ptr<Buffer> mask()`
 * `std::shared_ptr<Buffer> values()` 

Would make it easy for me to rely on the interface to "do the right thing".


Or am I missing something?

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