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Defining JavaScript Arrays Using Literal Notation


In this article, George introduces us to the process of creating arrays in JavaScript using literal notation. Is it really that simple? George attemps to show us how easy it really is.

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By: JavaScript Kit
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 18
September 22, 2003
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Defining JavaScript Arrays Using Literal Notation
  2. · Putting It to the Test

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Defining JavaScript Arrays Using Literal Notation
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Literal notation is a form of array declaration introduced in JavaScript 1.2. Like the language version, it's supported by 4th+ generations of browsers.

To declare a literal notation (array), start out with square brackets, then enclose each participating value inside, separated by commas:

var myarray=["Joe", "Bob", "Ken"]

Once declared, a literal notation behaves very much like a normal array, so to call to Joe, you would use:

alert(myarray[0]) //Yo Joe what's up?

At this point, we can all discern at least one merit of literal notation Ė its compact syntax. Literal notation puts even
dense arrays to shame when it comes to quickly declaring an array and populating it with values.

Ok, moving on, letís explain the kind of values literal notation supports. Apart from the obvious "string" and "numeric" input, you can also use expressions:

var myarray=[x+y, 2, Math.round(z)]

If you can't make up your mind what to enter, undefined values are accepted too, by using a comma (,) in place of the value:

var myarray=[0,,,,5]

In the above, there are actually 6 array values, except the ones in the center are all undefined. This is useful, for example, if you wish to come back later to dynamically fill in these values, or set up your array for future expansion.


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