An array is declared by giving a type name followed by [] and created by using the new operator e.g. int[] a = new int[10] to create an array of integers. The length of such an array can be obtained by the length member variable e.g. int count = a.length. Note that if you write Object[] a = new Object[10] no objects will be created, just the array to store them in.

int[] a = new int[10];
int[] b = { 2, 4, 6, 8 };

You can slice an array with [start:end]:

int[] c = b[1:3];     // => { 4, 6 }

Slicing an array will result in a reference to the requested data, not a copy. However, assigning the slice to an owned variable (as is done above) will result in a copy. If you would like to avoid a copy, you must either assign the slice to an unowned array or pass it directly to an argument (arguments are, by default, unowned):

unowned int[] c = b[1:3];     // => { 4, 6 }

Multi-dimensional arrays are defined with [,] or [,,] etc.

int[,] c = new int[3,4];
int[,] d = {{2, 4, 6, 8},
            {3, 5, 7, 9},
            {1, 3, 5, 7}};
d[2,3] = 42;

This sort of array is represented by a single contiguous memory block. Jagged multi-dimensional arrays ([][], also known as "stacked arrays" or "arrays of arrays"), where each row may have a different length, are not yet supported.

To find the length of each dimension in a multi-dimensional array, the length member becomes an array, storing the length of each respective dimension.

int[,] arr = new int[4,5];
int r = arr.length[0];
int c = arr.length[1];

Please note that you can't get a mono-dimensional array from a multidimensional array, or even slice a multidimensional array:

int[,] arr = {{1,2},
int[] b = arr[0];  // won't work int[] c = arr[0,];  // won't work int[] d = arr[:,0];  // won't work int[] e = arr[0:1,0];  // won't work int[,] f = arr[0:1,0:1];  // won't work

You can append array elements dynamically with the += operator. However, this works only for locally defined or private arrays. The array is automatically reallocated if needed. Internally this reallocation happens with sizes growing in powers of 2 for run-time efficiency reasons. However, .length holds the actual number of elements, not the internal size.

int[] e = {};
e += 12;
e += 5;
e += 37;

You can resize an array by calling resize() on it. It will keep the original content (as much as fits).

int[] a = new int[5];

You can move elements within an array by calling move(src, dest, length) on it. The original positions will be filled with 0.

uint8[] chars = "hello world".data;
chars.move (6, 0, 5);
print ((string) chars); // "world "

If you put the square brackets after the identifier together with an indication of size you will get a fixed-size array. Fixed-size arrays are allocated on the stack (if used as local variables) or in-line allocated (if used as fields) and you can't reallocate them later.

int f[10];     // no 'new ...'

Vala does not do any bounds checking for array access at runtime. If you need more safety you should use a more sophisticated data structure like an ArrayList. You will learn more about that later in the section about collections.

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