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12.1 Array types

Visual Studio .NET 2003

An array type is written as a non-array-type followed by one or more rank-specifiers:

array-type:
non-array-type   rank-specifiers
non-array-type:
type
rank-specifiers:
rank-specifier
rank-specifiers   rank-specifier
rank-specifier:
[   dim-separatorsopt   ]
dim-separators:
,
dim-separators   ,

A non-array-type is any type that is not itself an array-type.

The rank of an array type is given by the leftmost rank-specifier in the array-type: A rank-specifier indicates that the array is an array with a rank of one plus the number of "," tokens in the rank-specifier.

The element type of an array type is the type that results from deleting the leftmost rank-specifier:

  • An array type of the form T[R] is an array with rank R and a non-array element type T.
  • An array type of the form T[R][R1]...[RN] is an array with rank R and an element type T[R1]...[RN].

In effect, the rank-specifiers are read from left to right before the final non-array element type. The type int[][,,][,] is a single-dimensional array of three-dimensional arrays of two-dimensional arrays of int.

At run-time, a value of an array type can be null or a reference to an instance of that array type.

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