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get random numbers from multiple strings

Posted on 2009-05-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
I have three strings, and I want to pick a random item from one of the strings and return three variables: 1 the name of the string it is in 2 the name of the item in the string, and 3 the number of the item in the string. However, I need each item to be just as likely to be picked each time, even if one string has only one item in it and another has 50 items.

My current method causes the shortest strings items to occur more often because I am picking which string first etc.

I am working on a solution, but it seems very convoluted and overly long, perhaps I am missing something obvious.

please help,
- J


function determineImageToLoad() {
	// picks a random list
	imageListToLoadFromNumber = Math.floor(Math.random()*folderListArray.length);
	trace("imageListToLoadFromNumber = "+imageListToLoadFromNumber);
 
	// uses the number to pick which list to draw from
	imageListToLoadFrom = _root[_root.folderListArray[imageListToLoadFromNumber]+"ArrayHolder"];
	trace("imageListToLoadFrom = "+imageListToLoadFrom);
 
	// pics a specific number from that list
	imageToLoadNumber = Math.floor(Math.random()*imageListToLoadFrom.length);
	trace("imageToLoadNumber = "+imageToLoadNumber);
 
	// pics the name from that list that goes with the number
	imageToLoad = imageListToLoadFrom[imageToLoadNumber];
	trace("imageToLoad = "+imageToLoad);
	//trace("loading "+imageToLoad);
}

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Question by:jasotasticon
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LVL 4

Accepted Solution

by:
Adam Chan earned 2000 total points
ID: 24410581
Hi jasotasticon,

Have you considered putting all the items in one array and random pick from there, and then identify which array it originated from afterwards?

See attached pseudo code

hope it helps
A
list1 {a, b}
list2 {c, d, e, f}
list3 {g, h, i, j, k, l}
 
lists {list, list2, list3}
 
master_ list = {a, b, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l}    // do your random picking with this list
 
// say the item you picked is 'g'
// then you can do a simple loop with an array.indexOf(g) check to see 
// which of the original 3 list it came from, and pull your other 2 variables out that way.
 
for each (list in lists)
  if (list.indexOf(g) != -1)    // if 'g' is found in this list
    variable1 = list
    variable2 = g
    variable3 = list.length

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