Example of Array for It Students

Topics: Array, Object, Type system Pages: 6 (1094 words) Published: February 9, 2013

An array is a container object that holds a fixed number of values of a single type. The length of an array is established when the array is created. After creation, its length is fixed. You've seen an example of arrays already, in the main method of the "Hello World!" application. This section discusses arrays in greater detail.

Each item in an array is called an element, and each element is accessed by its numerical index. As shown in the above illustration, numbering begins with 0. The 9th element, for example, would therefore be accessed at index 8.

The following program, ArrayDemo, creates an array of integers, puts some values in it, and prints each value to standard output.

class ArrayDemo {
public static void main(String[] args) {
// declares an array of integers
int[] anArray;

// allocates memory for 10 integers
anArray = new int[10];

// initialize first element
anArray[0] = 100;
// initialize second element
anArray[1] = 200;
// etc.
anArray[2] = 300;
anArray[3] = 400;
anArray[4] = 500;
anArray[5] = 600;
anArray[6] = 700;
anArray[7] = 800;
anArray[8] = 900;
anArray[9] = 1000;

System.out.println("Element at index 0: "
+ anArray[0]);
System.out.println("Element at index 1: "
+ anArray[1]);
System.out.println("Element at index 2: "
+ anArray[2]);
System.out.println("Element at index 3: "
+ anArray[3]);
System.out.println("Element at index 4: "
+ anArray[4]);
System.out.println("Element at index 5: "
+ anArray[5]);
System.out.println("Element at index 6: "
+ anArray[6]);
System.out.println("Element at index 7: "
+ anArray[7]);
System.out.println("Element at index 8: "
+ anArray[8]);
System.out.println("Element at index 9: "
+ anArray[9]);
The output from this program is:

Element at index 0: 100
Element at index 1: 200
Element at index 2: 300
Element at index 3: 400
Element at index 4: 500
Element at index 5: 600
Element at index 6: 700
Element at index 7: 800
Element at index 8: 900
Element at index 9: 1000

In a real-world programming situation, you'd probably use one of the supported looping constructs to iterate through each element of the array, rather than write each line individually as shown above. However, this example clearly illustrates the array syntax. You'll learn about the various looping constructs (for, while, and do-while) in the Control Flow section.

Declaring a Variable to Refer to an Array

The above program declares anArray with the following line of code:

// declares an array of integers
int[] anArray;
Like declarations for variables of other types, an array declaration has two components: the array's type and the array's name. An array's type is written as type[], where type is the data type of the contained elements; the square brackets are special symbols indicating that this variable holds an array. The size of the array is not part of its type (which is why the brackets are empty). An array's name can be anything you want, provided that it follows the rules and conventions as previously discussed in the naming section. As with variables of other types, the declaration does not actually create an array — it simply tells the compiler that this variable will hold an array of the specified type.

Similarly, you can declare arrays of other types:

byte[] anArrayOfBytes;
short[] anArrayOfShorts;
long[] anArrayOfLongs;
float[] anArrayOfFloats;
double[] anArrayOfDoubles;
boolean[] anArrayOfBooleans;...
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