c# small array

I want an array that is 4 elements long.  I want to have a function where I can add the item to the beginning of the array.  If it exists in the array, remove it from where it is, and add it to the beginning.

array in beginning
cat
dog
llama
tiger

add llama becomes
llama
cat
dog
tiger

add bird
bird
llama
cat
dog
jackjohnson44Asked:
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käµfm³d 👽Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You might find working with a List a tad easier. You can even pass your array in as data and get an array back. For example:

string[] myArr = { "cat", "dog", "llama", "tiger" };
System.Collections.Generic.List<string> myList = new System.Collections.Generic.List<string>(myArr);

string newAnimal = "llama";

if (myList.Contains(newAnimal))
{
    myList.Remove(newAnimal);
    myList.Insert(0, newAnimal);
}
else
{
    myList.RemoveAt(myList.Count - 1);
    myList.Insert(0, newAnimal);
}

myArr = myList.ToArray();

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Putting that into a function, you might have:

static string[] InsertAnimal(string animal, string[] animals)
{
    System.Collections.Generic.List<string> myList = new System.Collections.Generic.List<string>(animals);

    if (myList.Contains(animal))
    {
        myList.Remove(animal);
        myList.Insert(0, animal);
    }
    else
    {
        myList.RemoveAt(myList.Count - 1);
        myList.Insert(0, animal);
    }

    return myList.ToArray();
}

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If you'd rather avoid the List, then you could do something like:

static string[] InsertAnimal(string animal, string[] animals)
{
    int i = 0;

    // Loop through animals looking for existing occurrence
    for (; i < animals.Length; i++)
    {
        // If we find an existing animal, shift
        //   everything to the right and insert
        //   the new animal at the beginning.
        if (animals[i] == animal)
        {
            for (int j = i; j > 0; j--)
            {
                animals[j] = animals[j - 1];
            }

            animals[0] = animal;
            break;
        }
    }

    // If i is the length of the array, then we didn't find an
    //  existing occurrence, so shift everything to the right;
    //  then insert the new animal at the beginning.
    if (i == animals.Length)
    {
        for (i = animals.Length - 1; i > 0 ; i--)
        {
            animals[i] = animals[i - 1];
        }

        animals[0] = animal;
    }

    return animals;
}

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ezdrtCommented:
Check out this website
Lists
http://www.dotnetperls.com/list

ArrayList
http://www.dotnetperls.com/arraylist

very good resource

i agree with kaufmed, use a list or arraylist, it would be easier

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anarki_jimbelConnect With a Mentor Commented:
OK, I also have some code including testing code.

Output:
bear
cat
dog
llama
==============
llama
bear
cat
dog
==============
cat
llama
bear
dog
==============
cat
llama
bear
dog
==============
private void printArray(string[] arr)
        {
            foreach (string s in arr)
            {
                System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine(s);
            }
            System.Diagnostics.Debug.WriteLine("==============");
        }

        private void button3_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            string[] myArr = {"cat","dog","llama","tiger"};
            string newStr = "bear";
            myArr = addToBeginning(myArr, newStr);
            printArray(myArr);
            newStr = "llama";
            myArr = addToBeginning(myArr, newStr);
            printArray(myArr);
            newStr = "cat";
            myArr = addToBeginning(myArr, newStr);
            printArray(myArr);
            newStr = "cat";
            myArr = addToBeginning(myArr, newStr);
            printArray(myArr);
        }

        private string[] addToBeginning(string[] arr, string str)
        {
            int foundIndex = -1;// index of a searched entry
            for (int i = 0; i < arr.Length; i++)
            {
                if (arr[i] == str)
                    foundIndex = i;
            }
            int shiftIndex = -1;// index to what we shift array elements
            if (foundIndex >= 0)
                shiftIndex = foundIndex - 1;
            else
                shiftIndex =  arr.Length - 2;

            for (int j = shiftIndex; j >= 0; j--)
            {
                arr[j + 1] = arr[j];
            }
            arr[0] = str;
            return arr;
        }

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anarki_jimbelCommented:
About lists here. These arrays are very short. Lists have quite big overhead. Does not really think lists have any benefits here. And not really simpler in this specific scenario!
Don'r stone me! :)
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ezdrtCommented:
well what if he one day decides to expand his software to include all the animals in the world? Like a noahs arc program ;) Lists!
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anarki_jimbelCommented:
Pls don't take mosquito on the ark! :)
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käµfm³d 👽Commented:
Lists have quite big overhead. Does not really think lists have any benefits here. And not really simpler in this specific scenario!
True, there is more overhead with a list, but the benefit here is ease of understanding. Lines like

myList.Remove(animal);
myList.Insert(0, animal);

are more intuitive/readable than lines like:

for (; i < animals.Length; i++)
{
    // If we find an existing animal, shift
    //   everything to the right and insert
    //   the new animal at the beginning.
    if (animals[i] == animal)
    {
        for (int j = i; j > 0; j--)
        {
            animals[j] = animals[j - 1];
        }

        animals[0] = animal;
        break;
    }
}

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The benefit is self-documentation and code simplicity = )
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