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jasty

How to avoid copying arrays?

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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? 

Edited by jasty

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jasty,

If you are looking to pass the array as a parameter to a function, AutoIt does not make a copy of the array unless you alter the array in some fashion - even then you should be able to use ByRef to prevent this. Can you explain in more detail just what you are trying to do?

M23


Public_Domain.png.2d871819fcb9957cf44f4514551a2935.png Any of my own code posted anywhere on the forum is available for use by others without any restriction of any kind

Open spoiler to see my UDFs:

Spoiler

ArrayMultiColSort ---- Sort arrays on multiple columns
ChooseFileFolder ---- Single and multiple selections from specified path treeview listing
Date_Time_Convert -- Easily convert date/time formats, including the language used
ExtMsgBox --------- A highly customisable replacement for MsgBox
GUIExtender -------- Extend and retract multiple sections within a GUI
GUIFrame ---------- Subdivide GUIs into many adjustable frames
GUIListViewEx ------- Insert, delete, move, drag, sort, edit and colour ListView items
GUITreeViewEx ------ Check/clear parent and child checkboxes in a TreeView
Marquee ----------- Scrolling tickertape GUIs
NoFocusLines ------- Remove the dotted focus lines from buttons, sliders, radios and checkboxes
Notify ------------- Small notifications on the edge of the display
Scrollbars ----------Automatically sized scrollbars with a single command
StringSize ---------- Automatically size controls to fit text
Toast -------------- Small GUIs which pop out of the notification area

 

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The help file (topic Func) should really be written as Melba23 just explained :

MB23 : " If you are looking to pass the array as a parameter to a function, AutoIt does not make a copy of the array unless ..."

Help file : "Arrays should be passed to user-defined functions using the ByRef keyword to avoid the overhead of copying all the data in the array."

* When you read this sentence in the help file, your 1st impression is that, without the ByRef keyword, the Array will be copied in the Function. The next sentences in the help file indicate you that it it's not always the case.

* When you read MB23 here, you understand immediately that, without the ByRef keyword, the Array will not be copied in the Function, unless...

I prefer MB23's explanation :)

Edited by pixelsearch

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pixelsearch,

I believe the Help file text should remain as it currently reads - there is no guarantee that future AutoIt releases will retain the "no copy unless altered" functionality and so the user is best advised to pass arrays ByRef in all cases, as the Help file recommends (for precisely this reason).

M23


Public_Domain.png.2d871819fcb9957cf44f4514551a2935.png Any of my own code posted anywhere on the forum is available for use by others without any restriction of any kind

Open spoiler to see my UDFs:

Spoiler

ArrayMultiColSort ---- Sort arrays on multiple columns
ChooseFileFolder ---- Single and multiple selections from specified path treeview listing
Date_Time_Convert -- Easily convert date/time formats, including the language used
ExtMsgBox --------- A highly customisable replacement for MsgBox
GUIExtender -------- Extend and retract multiple sections within a GUI
GUIFrame ---------- Subdivide GUIs into many adjustable frames
GUIListViewEx ------- Insert, delete, move, drag, sort, edit and colour ListView items
GUITreeViewEx ------ Check/clear parent and child checkboxes in a TreeView
Marquee ----------- Scrolling tickertape GUIs
NoFocusLines ------- Remove the dotted focus lines from buttons, sliders, radios and checkboxes
Notify ------------- Small notifications on the edge of the display
Scrollbars ----------Automatically sized scrollbars with a single command
StringSize ---------- Automatically size controls to fit text
Toast -------------- Small GUIs which pop out of the notification area

 

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Good to know, thx MB23

In fact, I was a bit perplexed about this "no copy unless altered" because it seems to be a functionality added to help the programmer, in case he forgot to use the ByRef keyword, to avoid a copy of the Array to be automatically done : this is how AutoIt reacts right now, to "avoid  copying all the data [Array in our case], which would impose a significant performance penalty"

If this functionality disappears in future AutoIt releases, programmers will have to be more careful : forgetting the ByRef Keyword will automatically do a copy of the Array (if I understood you well)

Edited by pixelsearch

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Oh so the array copy stuff only happens if the array is altered?  Is that always the case?  In the above code is $a actually copied?

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23 minutes ago, jasty said:

In the above code is $a actually copied?

Hi jasty :)

It sure is, as stated in the help file (topic Global/Local) :
"A unique feature in AutoIt is the ability to copy arrays like this:
$mycopy = $myarray
In this case $mycopy will be an exact copy of $myarray and will have the same dimensions"

As Melba23 wrote, the only case where it won't be copied is if you use the Array as a parameter in a function, using the keyword ByRef . Then the Array in the function won't be a copy of the original one.

In case it's not your need, please indicate why you need an array refering to another one, outside a function ?
Maybe It would help readers to provide a solution :)

 

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What about something like this...   does the array get copied after I retrieve it?

Func MyFunc($val, $arraytype)
    if $arraytype == 0 then
        $array = RetrieveDataOfSomeKind()
    else
        $array = RetrieveDataOfSomeOtherKind()
    endif
    $result = DoSomeAction($val, $array)
    Return $result
EndFunc

After coming from other languages I've never considered the assignment operator to be expensive.  

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@jasty

Yes, the retrieved elements of the array are copied into $array
Here is a script that could match partially your function (at least, this is how I understood it)

#include <Array.au3>
#include <MsgBoxConstants.au3>

Global $aBig_array[10] = [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
_ArrayDisplay($aBig_array, "$aBig_array - in main")
Test()

Func Test()
    $array = RetrieveDataOfSomeKind() ; an Array should be returned to populate $array
    _ArrayDisplay($array, "$array - in test()")
    If @error = 1 Then
        MsgBox($MB_TOPMOST, "Error", "$array is not an array")
    EndIf
EndFunc

Func RetrieveDataOfSomeKind()
    Local $aSmall_array[2]
    $aSmall_array[0] = $aBig_array[2]
    $aSmall_array[1] = $aBig_array[4]
    Return $aSmall_array
EndFunc

What Melba23 did explain concerned the ByRef keyword, for instance :

#include <Array.au3>

Global $aBig_array[10] = [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
_ArrayDisplay($aBig_array, "In main - before test()")
Test($aBig_array)
_ArrayDisplay($aBig_array, "In main - after test()")

Func Test(ByRef $array)
    ; $aBig_array[] hasn't been copied in the function, because of ByRef keyword
    ; and it will never be copied, even if you alter an element of $array.
    ;
    ; Now, notice how altering an element of $array will modify the original $aBig_array
    $array[9] = 999999999
    _ArrayDisplay($array, "$array - In test")
EndFunc

Same without ByRef (use it only if you really need a copy of the whole array in the function)

#include <Array.au3>

Global $aBig_array[10] = [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
_ArrayDisplay($aBig_array, "In main - before test()")
Test($aBig_array)
_ArrayDisplay($aBig_array, "In main - after test()")

Func Test($array)
    ; $aBig_array[] hasn't been copied in the function, BUT :
    ; it will be copied, as soon as you alter any element of $array !
    ; This functionality may eventually be removed in next AutoIt releases,
    ; so scripters will have to be extra careful concerning the ByRef keyword.
    ; The only case ByRef shouldn't be used is if you *really* need a copy of the array, here.
    ;
    ; Now, notice how altering an element of $array will NOT modify the original ($aBig_array)
    $array[9] = 999999999
    _ArrayDisplay($array, "$array - In test")
EndFunc

One more thing : Const ByRef (or ByRef Const) is even better, in case you don't want at all to modify the original array. It's an extra protection for scripters : an error will be generated if you modify any element inadvertly during the function :

Global $aBig_array[10] = [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
Test($aBig_array)

Func Test(ByRef Const $array)
    ; Notice how altering inadvertly an element of $array will generate an error : thanks Const !
    $array[9] = 999999999
EndFunc

; Console shows the error :
; " Cannot assign values to constants "
; $array[9] = 999999999
; ^ ERROR

Good luck :)

Edited by pixelsearch

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      So I have been reading on how to use OAuth2 Service accounts(https://developers.google.com/identity/protocols/OAuth2ServiceAccount) and ran into an issue with autoit I can not solve. To keep this short to communicate to the Google API I need to use a JSON Web signature containing
      {Base64url encoded header}.{Base64url encoded claim set}.

      The Header and claim set work fine but I do not know how to convert them to a byte array using autoit. I have looked around on the forums and website but have not found anything that seems to work. Here is my code.
      #include-once #include <Array.au3> #include <Constants.au3> #include <Debug.au3> #include <File.au3> #include "Json.au3" #include <Process.au3> #include <ProgressConstants.au3> #include <String.au3> #include <WindowsConstants.au3> #include "WinHttp.au3" #include <UnixTime.au3> #include <StringConstants.au3> Global $UnixTime = _TimeGetStamp() $sJWTheader = '{"alg":"RS256","typ":"JWT"}' $sJWTclaimset = '{"iss":"Removed@forprivacy.com","scope":"https://www.googleapis.com/auth/spreadsheets","aud":"https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v4/token","exp":' & $UnixTime + 3600 & ',"iat":' & $UnixTime & '}' Local $taiData = DllStructCreate("BYTE[256]") Local $sText = _base64($sJWTheader)&'.'&_base64($sJWTclaimset) DllStructSetData($taiData, 1, StringToBinary($sText, 4)) Local $bvResult = DllStructGetData($taiData, 1) $sJWTSigature = $bvResult $sJWT = _base64($sJWTheader)&'.'&_base64($sJWTclaimset)&'.'&_base64($sJWTSigature) $POSTHeader = "Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded" $hOpen = _WinHttpOpen() $hConnect = _WinHttpConnect($hOpen, "https://www.googleapis.com/") $sRead = _WinHttpSimpleSSLRequest($hConnect, "POST", "oauth2/v4/token", Default, "grant_type=urn%3Aietf%3Aparams%3Aoauth%3Agrant-type%3Ajwt-bearer&assertion=" & $sJWT) _WinHttpCloseHandle($hConnect) _WinHttpCloseHandle($hOpen) ConsoleWrite($sRead & @LF) The whole bytes thing is beyond with what I know about auotit. I can't tell what I need to fix.
       
       
    • By JackER4565
      Hi, first of all thanks to all the guys who always help people in the forums, I wouldn't be able to do anything if wasn't for your help, even if I don't ask it myself.
       
      I've created this code to get some info on a monitoring network on my work. It relays on _IETableGetCollection and _IETableWriteToArray.
      It works well, but take around 3:25 minutes to get the info from 28 pages (some of them are large and take longer to load, but most of them are small and fast).
      My question is if you see a way to get the program to go faster...
       
      I've tried to make it easy for you to understand and edited somethings with sensitive info.
      (Some of the pages doesn't have the black divider with MIRA in the end, so I need to search if it is there or not.)
       
      #include <IE.au3> #include <array.au3> Local $oIE = _IECreate("about:blank", 0, 0) Local $paginas[28] = [89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 96, 105, 113, 119, 125, 126, 129, 131, 133, 135, 137, 139, 140, 141, 144, 145, 146, 148, 149, 150, 151, 158, 159] Local $Datos_array[0][2] Local $oTable Local $tabla Local $aux_x = 1 Local $ar = 1 Local $Numtables_datos = 0 MsgBox(0, "asd", "asd") For $pag = 0 To UBound($paginas) - 1 Step 1 _IENavigate($oIE, "<WEBSITE URL>" & $paginas[$pag]) ; <<< the pages to load are always the same except for the last digits. _ArrayAdd($Datos_array, $paginas[$pag] & "|" & "Entrante", 0, "|") ; <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< adds the page number toarray [0, 0] ;############################################ START counts amount of tables with traffic $oTable = _IETableGetCollection($oIE) Local $iNumTables = @extended For $i = 3 To $iNumTables - 2 Step 1 $oTable = _IETableGetCollection($oIE, $i) $nomb_tabla2 = _IETableWriteToArray($oTable) ; <<<<<<<< TABLE TO ARRAY. $string2 = StringStripWS($nomb_tabla2[1][0], 8) If $string2 <> "MIRA" Then $Numtables_datos = $Numtables_datos + 1 Next $tabla_End = $iNumTables - $Numtables_datos ;############################################ FIN $tabla_Start = 4 $tabla_trafico = 2 For $for = 1 To $Numtables_datos Step 1 $oTable = _IETableGetCollection($oIE, $tabla_Start - 1) ; <<<<<<<<<<< NAME OF THE TABLE; row2 = mira $nomb_tabla = _IETableWriteToArray($oTable) ; <<<<<<<< TABLE TO ARRAY ;########################################### ADDS the traffic number into the row $string = StringStripWS($nomb_tabla[1][0], 8) If $string == "MIRA" Then ;si o si pasa por aca 1 vez _ArrayAdd($Datos_array, $nomb_tabla[0][0]) $nomb_aux = $nomb_tabla[0][0] $aux_x = 1 $tabla_trafico = $tabla_trafico + 2 Else ;esto deberia ser por row _ArrayAdd($Datos_array, $nomb_aux & " " & $aux_x) $aux_x = $aux_x + 1 $tabla_trafico = $tabla_trafico + 1 EndIf $oTable = _IETableGetCollection($oIE, $tabla_trafico) Local $aTableData = _IETableWriteToArray($oTable) $bps = _ArrayToString($aTableData, "|", 0, 0, @CRLF, 0, 0) $bps = StringRight($bps, 5) $bps = StringLeft($bps, 4) $trafico_actual = _ArrayToString($aTableData, "|", 0, 0, @CRLF, 2, 2) If $bps == "Gbps" Then $trafico_actual = $trafico_actual * 1000 If $bps == "Kbps" Then $trafico_actual = $trafico_actual / 1000 $Datos_array[$ar][1] = $trafico_actual $ar = $ar + 1 If $string == "MIRA" Then $tabla_Start = $tabla_Start + 2 Else $tabla_Start = $tabla_Start + 1 EndIf Next $ar = $ar + 1 ;~ ############# CAÍDA ############ ;~ If $actual_entrante = 0 Then ;~ $xxx = 0 ;~ Do ;~ MsgBox(0, "Tráfico Caído", $paginas[$i], 5) ;~ $xxx = $xxx + 1 ;~ Until $xxx = 10 ;~ EndIf ;~ ############# CAÍDA ############. Local $Numtables_datos = 0 Next _ArrayDisplay($Datos_array, "Array display") _IEQuit($oIE) Thanks!! 


      monitoria.html
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