PowerShell - Array of arrays

I have data in a pipeline from which I want to create an array of arrays like, for example:
  (a, XXa), (b, XXb), (c, XXc)
I don't want to use a pre-declared multi-dimensional array because it is messy and I don't know in advance how big it will need to be.

This code does not work - is gives a length of 6
$arrayOfArrays = ("a","b","c") | %{($_, "XX$_")}
# Check if it worked:
"arrayOfArrays[2] = " + $arrayOfArrays[2]
"Length = " + $arrayOfArrays.length

This code works but it is messy:
$tmp = @(1)
$arrayOfArrays = @()

("a","b","c") | %{ $tmp[0] = ($_, "XX$_"); $arrayOfArrays += $tmp;}
# Check if it worked:
"arrayOfArrays[2] = " + $arrayOfArrays[2]
"Length = " + $arrayOfArrays.length

Is there a better way?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Why do you think you will need a multi-dimensional array

Simply put in Powershell it just doesn't seem needed. You can already nest arrays.

$MyBaseArray = @()
1..10 | %{$internalArray = 11..20;$MyBaseArray += $internalArray}

Perhaps if I better understand what your attempting I can help.
I been looking at this I think a hash table is perfect (if understand where your going)

Let me know if this is what your looking for

$data = @{}
("a","b","c") | foreach{$data.$_ = "xx$_"}

Name                       Value                                                                                  
----                           -----                                                                                  
a                              xxa                                                                                    
b                              xxb                                                                                    
c                              xxc  
PC_User321Author Commented:
Thanks for your comment, BSonPosh.
My question is not about how to get a particular task accomplished, but rather a complain about what looks like a limitation of the language.

In my example I have an array to which I want to add (a, XXa), but I need a way of indicating to PowerShell that those 2 elements should be added as ONE ARRAY, and not as two separate thing.
And this way of indicating to PowerShell should work in a pipeline situation as I have shown in my example.

On page 71 of "PowerShell In Action", Bruce Payette says:
"Here is how array literals are defined in PowerShell: They're not. There is no array literal notation in PowerShell. .... If you need an array, one will be created for you."

Well, Bruce, in my first example I needed an array and one was NOT created for me.
I feel that PowerShell SHOULD have an array literal, like Perl has.
Or perhaps there is an elegant way of achieving this that I haven't figured out.

The essence of my question is, in my context (with a pipeline) how do I tell PowerShell that I want to add one array, not two array elements.

Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

I will pass this on to Bruce and the team and get a"Devish" answer.

You can create a literal Array by doing this
$tmp = @()

I think the problem is that Powershell sees two arrays and instead of adding one array to the other it seems to join them.

I do this all the time with custom objects, but I haven't tried specifically with two arrays.
Two fellow MVPs provided this explaination (Kirk and Karl)

The pipeline (and certian other operations) will try to Strip an array(or any collection/Ienumerable), so that it can push it down the pipeline one item at a time.. the , just wraps something into an array.. so often if you already have an array you use the , to put that array inside an array , so that when the pipeline strips it, it just pushes the original array down the pipeline as ONE item. look at this
You will notice the 5 element array is inside a one element array which is inside a one element array which is inside a one element array..
now run each of these
1..5) | % { $_ }
,,,(1..5) | % { $_ } | % { $_ }
,,,(1..5) | % { $_ } | % { $_ } | % { $_ }
you'll see that the "container arrays" get strip at each pipeline level, with the Last line, having been run through a pipeline boundary 3 times, you get the final container array stripped, and the pipeline gets the the items stripped and pushed down one at a time..

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
PC_User321Author Commented:
Excellent answer.  Points increased.

I added a comma in front of the brackets that enclose the array I want to add, and the array now gets added as a single entitiy, just as K & K explained.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.