Creating arrays with unknown items and dimensions

I’m taking input from a user and need to stick it into an array, the problem is, I don’t know ahead of time how many dimensions the array will have and I also don’t know how many items the user will want to stick in each dimension.

The array will have a maximum number of dimensions of 4, but an unlimited number of items per dimension.

I’m trying to create an unordered html list creator, so I need to know the number of items in each level of the list, and since (As far as I know) you can’t create a multi dimensional array with a dynamic size, I’m feeling a little stuck.

I’ve heard that you can use an object to cater for this kind of thing, but both array and object creation is a little new to me.

Can anyone point me in the right direction please?

You are right, objects are the way you want to go. Perhaps you can discuss the requirements in a bit more detail and someone will help you out.

In terms of dynamicly sized arrays, check out the generic collections like the List<T>, it is very, very handy.

I agree…

I’m familiar with list <of T> and I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for what I’m trying to do.

I want to be able to allow a user to type in the items of a menu in terms of their levels and define their relationships.

So I’ll need to allow the person to first specify how many levels depth the menu goes, then populate 1 item from each level until the last level where they will list all items that belong to the 2nd from final level.

For example:
menu level1 = vehicles
level2 = cars
level3 =toyota (Though with the latest news I wouldn’t by one)
level4= red,blue,green,purple,orange etc

Then repeat the process for vehicles, cars, FORD

When they’ve defined a full path and all children items of the 3rd level they press a button to write what they’ve added to an array. Repeat until menu is complete.

I did consider using standard lists, but I would think it would be much more difficult to create the structure and relationships that I’ve described above.

If someone knows a better way please tell me :slight_smile:

You are thinking a bit too concretely here, rather you need a MenuItem class that has a (nullable) Parent property which is a MenuItem. Then you just need a list of the parents and you can drill down to the children recursively.

That was way over my head.
As I said, I’m pretty new to object creation, so I need to take baby steps.

I made an attempt with arrays and I got up to the point where I realized that I had wasted my time.

I thought that I could say that each dimension in the array could store it’s own static data, for example, if my array has 4 dimensions, the first dimension contains the highest level menu item and the 4th dimension contains the lowest.

So, objects/classes, how can I get started?

Well, wat you want to do is create a MenuItem class as suggested by wwb.

public int ItemID { get; set; }
public int ParentID { get; set; }
public string MenuText { get; set; }

The create a List<MenuItem>.

The top most items parentID can be 0 and as they go into menus, it will change to the id of the item containing them. If that makes sense.

As I said I’m new to objects and classes.
Have I implemented the class correctly?

Public Class menuItem
    Public ItemID As Integer
    Public ParentID As Integer
    Public MenuText As String

    Public Property menuItemID() As String
            ' Gets the property value.
            Return ItemID
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As String)
            ' Sets the property value.
            ItemID = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    Public Property ParentMenuItemID() As String
            ' Gets the property value.
            Return ParentID
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As String)
            ' Sets the property value.
            ParentID = Value
        End Set
    End Property

    Public Property MenuItemText() As String
            ' Gets the property value.
            Return MenuText
        End Get
        Set(ByVal Value As String)
            ' Sets the property value.
            MenuText = Value
        End Set
    End Property
End Class

I’m really not sure where I should go from here.