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Using ArrayList.toArray()

Posted on 2008-11-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-11-07

I'm using java 1.5, how do we use toArray? I have something like:

    public class Car
        int color;
    ArrayList<Car> cars  = new ArrayList<Car>();
    cars.add(new Car());

    Car[] test = cars.toArray();

Yeah I just need a plain array representation of the array list.

Will the produced array be a reference to the original ArrayList, or is it a completely new object (so changes to one will not affect the other?)

Question by:DJ_AM_Juicebox
  • 2
LVL 86

Accepted Solution

CEHJ earned 2000 total points
ID: 22897001
You can do the following. It's a new object in its own right
Car[] test = (Car[])cars.toArray(new Car[cars.size()]);

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LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:Kevin Cross
ID: 22897063
Java is pass by value, but for objects what you are passing by value is the reference to Object itself so change in a Car from array will change value in Car of List, etc.

As a personal preference, I usually use the List interface to define variable and instantiate ArrayList as the implementation, so my code has that difference but works same with how you have it.

Here is an example code to illustrate what I mean with values.
public static void main(String[] args) {
		List<Car> cars  = new ArrayList<Car>();
	    cars.add(new Car());
	    Car[] test = cars.toArray(new Car[cars.size()]);
	    Car[] test2 = cars.toArray(test);
	    test[0].color = 1;
	    test2[0].color = 3;
	    cars.get(0).color = 7;

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LVL 60

Expert Comment

by:Kevin Cross
ID: 22897139
And I see CEHJ already pointed out how to get the array...

FYI, since using the toArray(T[]) method, it already returns an object of type T[] which in this case is Car[]; therefore, the extra cast to (Car[]) is not required.
Car[] test = cars.toArray(new Car[cars.size()]);

Good luck!
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 22903375
But, this works also:

                                  Car[] test = cars.toArray(new Car[0]);


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