# Array question...i'm really confused...

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hi people...i'm new here an i'd really appreciate your help... Please consider the following simple c program.(taken from a book) " #include <stdio.h> int multi[2][4]; main() { printf("\nmulti = %u", multi); printf("\nmulti[0] = %u", multi[0]); printf("\n&multi[0][0] = %u\n", &multi[0][0]); return(0); } OUTPUT: multi = 1328 multi[0] = 1328 &multi[0][0] = 1328 " Now...What i'm wondering,is how all three output values are the same... I underestand that "multi"is a pointer to "multi[0]".Also,multi[0] is also array,which means that multi[0] is also pointer to the first element of the 2d array.(which is multi[0][0]) Finally the statement(&multi),would also give us an output value of 1328! (of course,although all three values will be the same,the actual value can vary..) As we also know,pointers are nothing more than variables that like all variables have to reside somewhere in memory... In the previous code example,the output values,imply that both pointers + the first element multi[o][o] reside in the same memory address... How is that possible???i can't really inderestand it... What i also know,is that arrays have a fixed size... So how is it possble that two pointers and an integer value have the same starting address??? I'm really confused...I'd really appreciate any answers... Thanks a lot.

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Hey!

It's actually not 2 pointers, it is just one. The compiler takes care of the 2 dimensional addressing for you behind the scenes. That's why you get the same number always, as you are just accessing the first element in the array. You can emulate a 2 dimensional array with only a single-d array like this:

char ar[20];

int width = 5;
int height = 4;

int x=2, y=1;

char val = ar[width * y + x];

This will effectively emulate the following:
char ar[4][5];
char val=ar[1][2];

Hope that helps!

Jeremiah

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Hi jeremaiah!

so...i underestood why there's only one pointer...

but i still have a question...

let's take an even simpler example

int ar[3];

the satements &ar and &ar[0] will give me the same value...

so i still wonder,how can both,the pointer and the first elemt,have the same starting adress...

thanks again.

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I haven't done a lot of C/C++ programming, but I think I know enough to take a stab at it. When you declare an array with a constant length like this:

int myArray[4];
//or
int myArray[] = {8, 9, 10, 11};

When an array is declared as above, myArray isn't actually a pointer. Since the size of the array is known at compile time, it is accessed by value, thus making it possible to allocate it on the stack as well as the heap. It's kind of like a mini-struct without members that just has length information. Go ahead and print the result of sizeof(myArray) and you'll find that that the length of the array is returned, not the size of a pointer to an array. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me. If not, I hope this helps.

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Thanks a lot Theblumage..

I think i underestand what you mean...

actually,what i tend to believe,is that the name of an array isn't a "real" pointer.It's just that the compiler "treats" it as pointer..

well,i don't know...it's a little bit confusing,isn't it?

Anyway...Thanks A LOT for your replies!

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Where to begin?

Arrays are a falsehood in C and C++. They don't actually exist. The subscript operator ([]) performs a pointer advance and dereference. ie,
p[n];
is equivalent to
*(p + n);
"Arrays" in C and C++ have no notion of their own dimensions or bounds, so that subscript operation can extend into memory owned by a different object, thread or process, which is an access violation in most cases.

As to why you get the same value for all three printf statements, there are subtle differences.
printf("\nmulti = %u", multi);
This is a reference to the base pointer, the starting address of the multi-dimensional array, the address of the first element in the sequence.
printf("\nmulti[0] = %u", multi[0]);
This is the exact same pointer. "But there's a dereference in there, via the subscript operator. Shouldn't that yield a value result?!" Because it's a two-dimensional array, that value retrieved from the first dimension dereference is also a pointer, and because the offset for the first dimension is zero... you get the same pointer.
printf("\n&multi[0][0] = %u", &multi[0][0]);
"Okay, so what about this one? Explain that, Mr. Smartypants!" This one's disingenious, because the author sort of cheated by using the address-of operator, &, to tinker with the result. The two subscripts perform all the dereferences, yielding a value (as opposed to a pointer), but the address-of operator takes the address of that value and returns... the same pointer, again.

Hope that helped.

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dear oluseyi wrote:

1)p[n] is equivalent to

*(p+n)

if our array has integers,shouldn't p[n] be equivalent to
*(p+(sizeof(int)*n) ?

2)printf("\nmulti = %u", multi);
"This is a reference to the base pointer, the starting address of the multi-dimensional array, the address of the first element in the sequence"

So...here "multi" is a distinct variable that holds the address
of the first element...right?However,why when i write "&multi",
my result is the address of the first array element?
Souldn't it be the memory location that the multi pointer resides to?

I'm really sorry if my questions are silly...I'm just trying to underestand...

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Quote:
 Original post by law_orderdear oluseyi wrote:1)p[n] is equivalent to *(p+n) if our array has integers,shouldn't p[n] be equivalent to *(p+(sizeof(int)*n) ?

No. Increasing the value of the pointer automatically increases the actual value by n times the size of the datatype it points to. So if ptr points to an object of type T, then ptr+1 points to the "next" object of type T in memory.

Quote:
 2)printf("\nmulti = %u", multi); "This is a reference to the base pointer, the starting address of the multi-dimensional array, the address of the first element in the sequence"So...here "multi" is a distinct variable that holds the addressof the first element...right?However,why when i write "&multi",my result is the address of the first array element?Souldn't it be the memory location that the multi pointer resides to?

multi is the array itself, not a pointer to the array.

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Quote:
 Original post by law_orderdear oluseyi wrote:1)p[n] is equivalent to *(p+n) if our array has integers,shouldn't p[n] be equivalent to *(p+(sizeof(int)*n) ?2)printf("\nmulti = %u", multi); "This is a reference to the base pointer, the starting address of the multi-dimensional array, the address of the first element in the sequence"So...here "multi" is a distinct variable that holds the addressof the first element...right?However,why when i write "&multi",my result is the address of the first array element?Souldn't it be the memory location that the multi pointer resides to?I'm really sorry if my questions are silly...I'm just trying to underestand...

1.
No. p[n] is the same as *(p+n); No need to use sizeof, since the compiler is smart enough to understand what you mean.
2.
No. as oluseyi pointed out, arrays are a falsehood in c/c++.
multi[n] really means *(multi+n); To get to the value pointed to by a pointer you use the dereference operator (which is the *). So the statement *(multi+n) (assuming it is an int) says you want to dereference (ie, get the value pointed to by) n*sizeof(int) bytes from the pointer multi.

hope this helps

Edit: grrrr beat by Brother Bob!

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thanks guys...sorry but i'm still confused...

The answer to the first question was very clear...

However,i still can't grasp that...

if multi is a pointer,what should the statement &multi give me???

i can't really underestand what dear Brother bob means by that phrase "multi is the array itself, not a pointer to the array."

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