Array

ArrayCF 1.0, ECMA 1.0, serializable

System (mscorlib.dll)abstract class

Unlike other environments (such as C++), .NET has arrays of first-class type, in that all array types are derivatives of the base type Array. All methods are available on any array type, regardless of its declaration. In fact, the CLR is required to synthesize a pseudotype that matches the declaration. Thus, when you declare a variable of type string[ ], the CLR creates an anonymous type, deriving from Array specifically for storing Strings in a one-dimensional array.

The Array class has a number of useful array-related methods, such as checking for bounds violations (attempting to access an element of the array that isn't in the array's declared size) and retrieval of array length. In addition, because Array also implements the ICloneable, System.Collections.IList, System.Collections.ICollection, and System.Collections.IEnumerable interfaces, arrays can be used anywhere these interface types are expected.

Starting with .NET 1.1, Array now has support for 64-bit indexer values, meaning that an array can stretch to include 264 possible elements. As a result, several methods, including Copy( ), GetValue( ), and SetValue( ), among others, take Int64 parameters as well as Int32.

Arrays are reference types. This means that the statement ArrayB = ArrayA results in two objects that reference the same array. Use ArrayB = ArrayA.Clone( ) to create a duplicate copy of an array. This will be a shallow copy with identical references to subobjects. To create a deep copy in which each array has its own copy of subobjects, you must loop through the array and assign values manually.

The Array class also contains useful static methods. These include IndexOf( ), which returns the offset of the first matching occurrence of an object in an array. For one-dimensional arrays, you can also use Reverse( ) to reverse a subset of rows, and Sort( ) to sort a subset of rows (provided the objects in the array implement the IComparable interface). If the objects in the array do not implement that interface, you can implement System.Collections.IComparer in a custom class and pass an instance of it to Sort( ).

The static Copy( ) method works like the C function memmove: it copies a portion of an array to a different position in the current array (or to a different array). When copying between multidimensional arrays, the array is treated like a long one-dimensional array in which each element occupies a separate row. (For example, if an array has three columns, copying five elements from the beginning of the array copies all three elements in the first row and the first two elements from the second row.) The source and destination ranges can overlap without causing a problem.

Note that you can create both multidimensional arrays and ragged arrays (arrays of arrays). Arrays are fixed in size and zero-based by default, although you can use the CreateInstance( ) method to create an array with a different lower bound. This is not recommended, as the array won't be CLS (Common Language Specification)-compliant. Lastly, if you need a dynamically resizable array, consider the collection System.Collections.ArrayList, which provides Add( ) and Remove( ) methods.

public abstract class Array : ICloneable, IList, ICollection, IEnumerable {
// Public Instance Properties
   public virtual bool IsFixedSize{get; }
// implements IList
   public virtual bool IsReadOnly{get; } 
// implements IList
   public virtual bool IsSynchronized{get; }          
// implements ICollection
   public int Length{get; }
   public long LongLength{get; }
   public int Rank{get; }
   public virtual object SyncRoot{get; } 
// implements ICollection
// Public Static Methods
   public static int BinarySearch(Array array, int index, int length, object value);
   public static int BinarySearch(Array array, int index, int length, object value, 
      System.Collections.IComparer comparer);
   public static int BinarySearch(Array array, object value);
   public static int BinarySearch(Array array, object value, System.Collections.IComparer comparer);
   public static void Clear(Array array, int index, int length);
   public static void Copy(Array sourceArray, Array destinationArray, int length);
   public static void Copy(Array sourceArray, Array destinationArray, long length);
   public static void Copy(Array sourceArray, int sourceIndex, Array destinationArray, int destinationIndex, 
      int length);
   public static void Copy(Array sourceArray, long sourceIndex, Array destinationArray, long destinationIndex, 
      long length);
   public static Array CreateInstance(Type elementType, int length);
   public static Array CreateInstance(Type elementType, params int[ ] lengths);
   public static Array CreateInstance(Type elementType, int[ ] lengths, int[ ] lowerBounds);
   public static Array CreateInstance(Type elementType, int length1, int length2);
   public static Array CreateInstance(Type elementType, int length1, int length2, int length3);
   public static Array CreateInstance(Type elementType, params long[ ] lengths);
   public static int IndexOf(Array array, object value);
   public static int IndexOf(Array array, object value, int startIndex);
   public static int IndexOf(Array array, object value, int startIndex, int count);
   public static int LastIndexOf(Array array, object value);
   public static int LastIndexOf(Array array, object value, int startIndex);
   public static int LastIndexOf(Array array, object value, int startIndex, int count);
   public static void Reverse(Array array);
   public static void Reverse(Array array, int index, int length);
   public static void Sort(Array array);
   public static void Sort(Array keys, Array items);
   public static void Sort(Array keys, Array items, System.Collections.IComparer comparer);
   public static void Sort(Array keys, Array items, int index, int length);
   public static void Sort(Array keys, Array items, int index, int length, System.Collections.IComparer comparer);
   public static void Sort(Array array, 
      System.Collections.IComparer comparer);
   public static void Sort(Array array, int index, int length);
   public static void Sort(Array array, int index, int length, System.Collections.IComparer comparer);
// Public Instance Methods
   public virtual object Clone( );        
// implements ICloneable
   public virtual void CopyTo(Array array, int index);       
// implements ICollection
   public virtual void CopyTo(Array array, long index);
   public virtual IEnumerator GetEnumerator( );        
// implements IEnumerable
   public int GetLength(int dimension);
   public long GetLongLength(int dimension);
   public int GetLowerBound(int dimension);
   public int GetUpperBound(int dimension);
   public object GetValue(int index);
   public object GetValue(params int[ ] indices);
   public object GetValue(int index1, int index2);
   public object GetValue(int index1, int index2, int index3);
   public object GetValue(long index);
   public object GetValue(params long[ ] indices);
   public object GetValue(long index1, long index2);
   public object GetValue(long index1, long index2, long index3);
   public void Initialize( );
   public void SetValue(object value, int index);
   public void SetValue(object value, params int[ ] indices);
   public void SetValue(object value, int index1, int index2);
   public void SetValue(object value, int index1, int index2, int index3);
   public void SetValue(object value, long index);
   public void SetValue(object value, params long[ ] indices);
   public void SetValue(object value, long index1, long index2);
   public void SetValue(object value, long index1, long index2, long index3);
}

Returned By

System.Collections.ArrayList.ToArray( ), Enum.GetValues( )

Passed To

Multiple types



    Part II: Programming with the .NET Framework
    Part IV: API Quick Reference
    Chapter 26. System
     
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