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Returning array of arrays / passing by reference

Posted on 2004-09-04
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Last Modified: 2010-03-31
I have a categorizeArray method which is passed an array and needs to return an array of arrays. How to declare that?

Also, a question that interests me, related to this:
Before I decided to return an array of arrays, I thought i'd pass references to nulls - to be filled by an array each. Is it in java possible to pass by reference?
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Question by:Daij-Djan
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CEHJ earned 65 total points
ID: 11981707
>>and needs to return an array of arrays. How to declare that?

Like this:

public X[][] foo() {
}

(where 'X' is some type)
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by:CEHJ
CEHJ earned 65 total points
ID: 11981725
Is it in java possible to pass by reference?

In a word, no. You could pass an array, and have that same array altered though, *through the same reference* but you can't do something like

public void foo(X[] xarray) {
  xarray = new X[10];
  // do something
}

as 'xarray' won't be replaced by the new creation
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Expert Comment

by:JakobA
ID: 11982068
In java alaa objects are passed by reference

class TestObj {
     public int x;
} // endclass

in your code:
     void testFuction( TestObj t ) {        // function to change the value in an object.
           t.x = 42;
     }  //endmethod testFunction

     TestObj to = new TestObj();
      to.x = 15;
      System.out.println( "testobject x value is: " +to.x );   // writes 15
      testFunction( to );                  // give object as parameter (it is automatically a reference parameter)
      System.out.println( "testobject x value is: " +to.x );   // writes 42

note that String objects cannot have their value changed. the only vay to get a String to change value is to create a new String with the new value.

regards JakobA
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by:CEHJ
ID: 11982115
>>In java alaa objects are passed by reference

No - they are all passed by value. If your statement were correct, the function i posted would work. A reference to an object is passed by value, which is why i said:

>>You could pass an array, and have that same array altered though, *through the same reference*

but that's not the same as passing by reference
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Assisted Solution

by:aviadbd
aviadbd earned 30 total points
ID: 11982352

I guess Jacob tried to say that objects' references are passed by value. :)

In any case, the rule in Java is that everything is passed by value. The reason you can change the internals of an object passed to a method is because in Java, all objects are considered as pointers. For that reason, the pointer is passed by value - And like in C++, a pointer passed by value cannot be changed. However, calls to methods, or changes to the object's members, affect the object.

The reason a String cannot be changed, for all I know, is because a call to the assignment operator of a String is equal to calling the new operator with the string given. It doesnt change the internal value of the String object, but tries to replace whats it pointing at.

Good luck!
Aviad.
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by:vn77
vn77 earned 30 total points
ID: 11984277
Just a comment to aviadbd: String is an immutable class :).
Cheers,
vn77
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by:objects
ID: 11986484
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by:CEHJ
ID: 11995747
8-)
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by:aviadbd
ID: 11996072
Comment to vn77:
< Slaps on my head > 
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by:Daij-Djan
ID: 11996923
DUH! sorry aviadbd! Of course you should get part of the points - sorry - ...... look for thread with points for you.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Programming_Languages/Java/Q_21121511.html
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by:zzynx
ID: 11997014
If you want to reopen this question, post a zero-point question in http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/

Subject: Moderator Please Reopen
Body:
Please reopen this question:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Programming_Languages/Java/Q_21119302.html
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by:aviadbd
ID: 12000989

Oh I actually didnt even think I should receive the points... But <humbly> if you so insist.. :)
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by:Daij-Djan
ID: 12004232
I do :)
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