java Array declarations

java Array declarations

Postby haretu » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:00 pm

Array declarations
arrays are Java objects
all Java arrays are technically one-dimensional. Two-dimensional arrays are arrays of arrays.
declaring an array does not create an array object or allocate space in memory; it creates a variable with a reference to an array
array variable declarations must indicate a dimension by using []
Examples of valid array declarations: (JJ pg84)

String []s;
String [] s;
String [ ] s; // extra white space ignored
String[] s;
String[ ] s; // extra white space ignored
String s[];
String s [];
String s [ ]; // extra white space ignored

String[] s[];
String s [] [ ]; // extra white space ignored
declaring the size of the array with the following notation is illegal
String[5] s; // illegal declaration
the standard convention for declaring arrays is:
String[] s; // one-dimensional array
String[][] s; // two-dimensional array
Initializing arrays
all arrays are zero-based
arrays must be indexed by int values or byte, short or char values (as these can be promoted to int) (JLS §10.4)
using a long index value to access an array causes a compile error
attempting to access an array with an index less than 0 or greater than the length of the array causes an ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException to be thrown at runtime (JLS §10.4)
since arrays are Objects they can be initialized using the new operator
when created, arrays are automatically initialized with the default value of their type
String[] s = new String[100]; // default values: null
boolean[] b = new boolean[4]; // default values: false
int[] i = new int[10][10]; // default values: 0
array references declared as members are initialized to null BUT array references declared in methods are not initialized
class TestArray {
int[] arr; // member declaration, initialized to 'null'

public static void main(String[] args) {
int[] arr1; // reference variable 'arr1' not initialized

// compiles ok
System.out.println("arr:" + new TestArray().arr);
// compile error
System.out.println("arr1: " + arr1);
as arrays are allocated at runtime, you can use a variable to set their dimension
int arrSize = 100;
String[] myArray = new String[arrSize];
you can use curly braces {} as part of an array declaration to initialize the array
String[] oneDimArray = { "abc","def","xyz" };
Curly braces {} can only be used in array declaration statements.
String[] s;
// illegal initialization
s = { "abc", "def", "hij");

int[] arr = new int[] {1,2,3}; // legal
you can assign an array a null value but you can't create an empty array by using a blank index

int[] array = null; // legal
// illegal initialization
int[] array = new int[];
Initializing two-dimensional arrays
the first dimension represents the rows, the second dimension, the columns
curly braces {} may also be used to initialize two dimensional arrays. Again they are only valid in array declaration statements.
int[][] twoDimArray = { {1,2,3}, {4,5,6}, {7,8,9} };
you can initialize the row dimension without initializing the columns but not vice versa
int[][] myArray = new int[5][];
// illegal
int[][] myArray = new int[][5];
the length of the columns can vary

class TestTwoDimArrays {
// initialize # of rows
static int [][] myArray = new int[3][];

public static void main(String[] args) {

myArray[0] = new int[3]; // initialize # of cols
myArray[1] = new int[4]; // in each row
myArray[2] = new int[5];

for(int i=0; i<3; i++) // fill and print the array
fillArray(i, i+3);

} // end main()

private static void fillArray(int row, int col) {

for( int i=0; i<col; i++)
myArray[row][i] = i;

for( int i=0; i<col; i++)



Output of TestTwoDimArrays:

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