Jump to content

Associative Arrays with COM

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Associative Array Functions

I've seen a couple of UDFs for this on the forum. One of them I quite like. But it's still nearly not as good as this method, IMHO.

I don't recall if I discovered the "Scripting.Dictionary" COM object myself or if I got the original base code from somewhere online. I have recently searched the web (and here) hard for any AutoIt references to this, other than my own over the years I've been using this (in ffe, etc..), and I can find nothing, so I dunno. If anyone does, I'd love to give credit where it's due; this is some cute stuff! It could actually be all my own work! lol

At any rate, it's too useful to not have posted somewhere at autoitscript.com, so I've put together a wee demo.

For those who haven't heard of the COM "Scripting.Dictionary".. 


A Dictionary object is the equivalent of a PERL associative array. Items can be any form of data, and are stored in the array. Each item is associated with a unique key. The key is used to retrieve an individual item and is usually an integer or a string, but can be anything except an array. 


If you've ever coded in Perl or PHP (and many other languages), you know how useful associative arrays are. Basically, rather than having to iterate through an array to discover it's values, with an associative array you simply pluck values out by their key "names".

I've added a few functions over the years, tweaked and tuned, and this now represent pretty much everything you need to easily work with associative arrays in AutoIt. En-joy!

The main selling point of this approach is its simplicity and weight. I mean, look at how much code it takes to work with associative arrays! The demo is bigger than all the functions put together! The other selling point is that we are using Windows' built-in COM object functions which are at least theoretically, fast and robust.

I've used it many times without issues, anyhow, here goes..

; Associative arrays in AutoIt? Hells yeah!

; Initialize your array ...
global $oMyError = ObjEvent("AutoIt.Error", "AAError") ; Initialize a COM error handler

; first example, simple.

global $simple

AAAdd($simple, "John", "Baptist")
AAAdd($simple, "Mary", "Lady Of The Night")
AAAdd($simple, "Trump", "Silly Man-Child")

debug("It is said that Trump is a " & AAGetItem($simple, "Trump") & ".", @ScriptLineNumber);debug

; slightly more interesting..

$ini_path = "AA_Test.ini"
; Put this prefs section in your ini file..
; [test]
; foo=foo value
; foo2=foo2 value
; bar=bar value
; bar2=bar2 value

global $associative_array

; We are going to convert this 2D array into a cute associative array where we
; can access the values by simply using their respective key names..
$test_array = IniReadSection($ini_path, "test")

for $z = 1 to 2 ; do it twice, to show that the items are *really* there!
    for $i = 1 to $test_array[0][0]
        $key_name = $test_array[$i][0]
        debug("Adding '" & $key_name & "'..");debug
        ; key already exists in "$associative_array", use the pre-determined value..
        if AAExists($associative_array, $key_name) then
            $this_value = AAGetItem($associative_array, $key_name)
            debug("key_name ALREADY EXISTS! : =>" & $key_name & "<=" , @ScriptLineNumber);debug
            $this_value = $test_array[$i][1]
            ; store left=right value pair in AA
            if $this_value then
                AAAdd($associative_array, $key_name, $this_value)

debug(@CRLF & "Array Count: =>" & AACount($associative_array) & "<=" , @ScriptLineNumber);debug

debug(@CRLF & "Removing 'foo'..");debug
AARemove($associative_array, "foo")

debug(@CRLF & "Array Count: =>" & AACount($associative_array) & "<=" , @ScriptLineNumber);debug

debug(@CRLF & "Removing 'bar'..");debug
AARemove($associative_array, "bar")

debug(@CRLF & "Array Count: =>" & AACount($associative_array) & "<=" , @ScriptLineNumber);debug


func quit()

;; Begin AA Functions

func AAInit(ByRef $dict_obj)
    $dict_obj = ObjCreate("Scripting.Dictionary")

; Adds a key and item pair to a Dictionary object..
func AAAdd(ByRef $dict_obj, $key, $val)
    $dict_obj.Add($key, $val)
    If @error Then return SetError(1, 1, -1)

; Removes a key and item pair from a Dictionary object..
func AARemove(ByRef $dict_obj, $key)
    If @error Then return SetError(1, 1, -1)

; Returns true if a specified key exists in the associative array, false if not..
func AAExists(ByRef $dict_obj, $key)
    return $dict_obj.Exists($key)

; Returns a value for a specified key name in the associative array..
func AAGetItem(ByRef $dict_obj, $key)
    return $dict_obj.Item($key)

; Returns the total number of keys in the array..
func AACount(ByRef $dict_obj)
    return $dict_obj.Count 

; List all the "Key" > "Item" pairs in the array..
func AAList(ByRef $dict_obj)
debug("AAList: =>", @ScriptLineNumber);debug
    local $k = $dict_obj.Keys ; Get the keys
    ; local $a = $dict_obj.Items ; Get the items
    for $i = 0 to AACount($dict_obj) -1 ; Iterate the array
        debug($k[$i] & " ==> " & AAGetItem($dict_obj, $k[$i]))

; Wipe the array, obviously.
func AAWipe(ByRef $dict_obj)

; Oh oh!
func AAError()
    Local $err = $oMyError.number
    If $err = 0 Then $err = -1
    SetError($err)  ; to check for after this function returns

;; End AA Functions.

; debug()   (trimmed-down version)
; provides quick debug report in your console..
func debug($d_string, $ln=false)
    local $pre
    ; For Jump-to-Line in Notepad++
    if $ln then $pre = "(" & $ln & ") " & @Tab
    ConsoleWrite($pre & $d_string & @CRLF)


;o) Cor

Edited by corz

nothing is foolproof to the sufficiently talented fool..

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Uh ???

A forum search for "Scripting Dictionary" returns 680 results prior to your post.

This wonderful site allows debugging and testing regular expressions (many flavors available). An absolute must have in your bookmarks.
Another excellent RegExp tutorial. Don't forget downloading your copy of up-to-date pcretest.exe and pcregrep.exe here
RegExp tutorial: enough to get started
PCRE v8.33 regexp documentation latest available release and currently implemented in AutoIt beta.

SQLitespeed is another feature-rich premier SQLite manager (includes import/export). Well worth a try.
SQLite Expert (freeware Personal Edition or payware Pro version) is a very useful SQLite database manager.
An excellent eBook covering almost every aspect of SQLite3: a must-read for anyone doing serious work.
SQL tutorial (covers "generic" SQL, but most of it applies to SQLite as well)
A work-in-progress SQLite3 tutorial. Don't miss other LxyzTHW pages!
SQLite official website with full documentation (may be newer than the SQLite library that comes standard with AutoIt)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • lattey
      By lattey
      i have checkboxes and each checkbox that checked, i put in array. 
      now, im stuck on how to loop the checked array and store in in one variable. what i can do now, is only write the result into a text file. 
      below is the code:
      #include <GUIConstantsEx.au3> ;~ #include <MsgBoxConstants.au3> #include <ButtonConstants.au3> #include <Array.au3> Global $Count = 3 Global $CheckBoxP[$Count] Global $step[$Count] global $array1[1] Global $ExitResult $hGUI = GUICreate("Summary Steps", 500, 400) GUISetFont(12, 400, "Tahoma") GUICtrlCreateLabel( "Please Select the Summary Steps for Script Check", 70, 20) GUISetFont(10, 400, "Tahoma") Global $array_Pstep[3] = ["fix2","fix1","fix3"] global $step[3] = ["2","3","4"] $Spacing = 50 For $i = 0 To UBound($array_Pstep) - 1 $CheckBoxP[$i] = GUICtrlCreateCheckbox($array_Pstep[$i], 80, $Spacing + (20 * $i), 65, 17) Next $submit = GUICtrlCreateButton("Submit",180, 280, 80, 30) $exit = GUICtrlCreateButton("Exit",180, 320, 80, 30) GUISetState() While 1 $Msg = GUIGetMsg() Select case $Msg=$submit For $i = 0 To $Count - 1 If GUICtrlRead($CheckBoxP[$i]) = $GUI_CHECKED Then _ArrayAdd($array1, $step[$i]) EndIf Next Global $logfilerray = @WorkingDir & "\checkedlist.txt" FileDelete ($logfilerray) Global $readlogfile = FileOpen($logfilerray,1) for $a = 1 to UBound($array1) - 1 ;~ $var=$array1[$a] FileWriteLine($readlogfile,$array1[$a]) Next FileClose($readlogfile) Exit case $Msg=$exit $ExitResult = MsgBox(1,"Summary Step", "Continue to Exit ?") if $ExitResult = 1 Then ;ok Exit EndIf Exit EndSelect WEnd  
    • jasty
      By jasty
      In every other language doing   
      dim $a[3] = [1, 2, 3] $b = $a creates a reference to a but in autoit it always makes a copy.  I didn't realize this until I have performance problems and now I'm trying to switch over to the reference behavior.  How can I change the above statement so b is a reference to a and not a full copy? 
    • omicron
      By omicron
      How do you perform a nested loop function with a multidimensional array from 2 lists.
      for i in list1
      (open file) extract variable
          while open for i in list 2
          (open file2) extract variable
      var1 + var2 = (search term)

      The list sizes will more than likely consist of different lengths.
      What is the best approach to accomplishing this method?
    • omicron
      By omicron

      I am working on a function that I am just getting lost on. The goal is a multiple nested loop.

      Here are the steps:
      Contents of file1.txt::
      [topic] var1=Name var2=OtherName var3=SomeotheName Contents of file2.txt::
      [subTopic] top=sub1 top2=sub2 top3=sub3 The Shell I am working from::
      #include <file.au3> $file = "c:\yourfile.txt" FileOpen($file, 0) For $i = 1 to _FileCountLines($file) $line = FileReadLine($file, $i) msgbox(0,'','the line ' & $i & ' is ' & $line) Next FileClose($file) Understanding however that the "msgbox" needs to then become a variable. in example the following::
      $file = "c:\yourfile.txt" FileOpen($file, 0) While true( prog.exe is running && "WinName" is open) do For $i = 1 to _FileCountLines($file) $line = FileReadLine($file, $i) ;Open File to log "current location of file 1" FileWriteLine ("filename", $i & ' is ' & $line) var = $line Next $file2 = "c:\yourfile.txt" FileOpen($file, 0) For $i = 1 to _FileCountLines($file) $line = FileReadLine($file, $i) ; OpenFile to log "Current location of file 2" FileWriteLine ("filename", $i & ' is ' & $line) Next FileClose($file2) FileClose($file) The goal in written form is the following ::

      While in "OpenWindow"
          read from file 1 starting at line 1 until end of file.
         file 1 is a list of names to be searched.
         With $line selected, add this element to the element in file 2.
      The search of a variables in list 1 and list 2 differ on the amount of posts that day. (This is not a web based platform, it is a game) I need to search 2 names and take a screenshot of the out put. The sizes of the names list depend on the activity of names at the time of search.
      This loop continues until all the names from both lists have been searched. Mostly in the format of::
      File1= item
      File2= Vendor
      Item + Vendor  ( Capture screen, scroll) -- Not sure how to detect if I need to scroll)
      Thank you for your help and support!
    • Skeletor
      By Skeletor
      Hi Virtual People,
      My array works perfectly fine. However, what is the best practice if the line in the array doesn't have the correct amount of columns and if I can add a placeholder?

      For $count = 1 To _FileCountLines($FileRead1) Step 1 $string = FileReadLine($FileRead1, $count) $input = StringSplit($string, ",", 1) $value1 = $input[1] $value2 = $input[2] $value3 = $input[3] _Excel_RangeWrite($oWorkbook, $oWorkbook.Activesheet, $value2, "A1") _Excel_RangeWrite($oWorkbook, $oWorkbook.Activesheet, $value1, "B1") _Excel_RangeWrite($oWorkbook, $oWorkbook.Activesheet, $value3, "C1") Next