CONCEPT:

        arrays

DESCRIPTION:

        There is support for arrays. Arrays can be declared with the
        type of its members appended by a star (e.g. string* for an
        array with string elements). But this declaration is not
        sufficient to actually create an array at runtime,  as all
        variables (even arrays) are initialized with 0 which is not
        a valid array. Arrays must either be allocated dynamically
        with the function 'allocate()' (see efun/allocate), or
        created with the ({}) array constructor.

        Arrays are stored by reference, so all assignments of whole
        arrays will just copy the address. The array will be
        deallocated when no variable points to it any longer.

        When a variable points to an array, items can be accessed with
        indexing: 'arr[3]' as an example. The name of the array being
        indexed can be any expression, even a function call:
        'func()[2]'. It can also be another array, if this array has
        pointers to arrays:

        arr = allocate(2);
        arr[0] = allocate(3);
        arr[1] = allocate(3);

        Now 'arr[1][2]' is a valid value.

        The 'sizeof()' function (in true C a compiler-directive, not a
        function) will give the number of elements in an array (see
        efun/sizeof).

NOTE:

        Nowadays it is most of the time preferable to use an array
        constructor, a list surrounded by '({' and '})',
        e.g. ({ 1, "xx", 2 }) will construct a new array with size 3,
        initialized with 1, "xx" and 2 respectively.


OPERATIONS:


        INDEXING
        There are several very useful operations defined on arrays.
        The most used is the indexing:
                a=({ 0,1,2,3 });
                return a[2];      // this will return 2
        You also can count from the end of the array. Use <1 to specify
        the last element in the array:
                a=({ 0,1,2,3 });
                return a[<3];     // this will return 1
        With indexing you can also create sub-arrays:
                a=({ 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 });
                return a[3..5];   // this will return ({ 3,4,5 })
                return a[2..<2];  // this will return ({ 2,3,4,5,6 })
                return a[<5..<3]; // this will return ({ 3,4,5 })
                return a[<6..5];  // this will return ({ 2,3,4,5 })
                return a[3..3];   // this will return ({ 3 })
                return a[3..2];   // this will return ({ })
                return a[3..0];   // this will return ({ })
                return a[5..100]; // this will return ({ 5,6,7 })
                [x..] is interpreted as [x..<1]

        ADDING
        You can add two arrays. The result is one array with the elements
        of both the former arrays:
                a=({ 0,1 });
                b=({ "a","b" });
                return a+b;       // this will return ({ 0,1,"a","b" })
                return b+a;       // this will return ({ "a","b",0,1 })

        SUBTRACTING
        You can erase all elements of one array that occur in another
        array:
                a=({ 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 });
                b=({ 7,2,5,8,1,9 });
                return a-b;       // this will return ({ 0,3,4,6 })
                return b-a;       // this will return ({ 8,9 })

        INTERJUNCTION
        Use the &-operator to create the interjunction of two arrays:
                a=({ 5,2,8,1,9,4 })
                b=({ 1,6,7,3,4,5 })
                return a&b;       // this will return ({ 1,4,5 })

        ASSIGNING
        Assigning can also be done to sub-arrays and is thus very powerful:
                a=({ 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 });
                a[<4..<3]=({ 8,9 });
                return a;         // this will return ({ 0,1,2,3,8,9,6,7 })

                a=({ 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 });
                a[2..5]=({ });
                return a;         // this will return ({ 0,1,6,7 })

                a=({ 0,1,2,3,4 });
                a[3..2]=({ 8,9 });
                return a;         // this will return ({ 0,1,2,8,9,3,4 })

                a=({ 0,1,2,3,4 });
                a[3..0]=({ 8,9 });
                return a;         // this will return ({ 0,1,2,8,9,1,2,3,4 })
                                  // this is quite funny but true ;-)
                                  // WARNING: If done unintentionally and
                                  // within a loop, you can quickly cause
                                  // the game to run out of memory!

        GENERAL
        Of course for any of the operators explained above you can use
        the combined form of assigning and operating; that means the
        operators +=, -= and &= work.


TIPS:

        If you want to make sure that no element is more than once in an
        array you can use the following:
                a = m_indices(mkmapping(a));
        This creates a mapping out of the array and recreates the array
        at once. The elements in the array can be shuffled by this
        procedure.


UNItopia (mudadm@UNItopia.de)