Forum: Ruby create copy of array without changing original

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Jason L. (Guest)
on 2009-01-16 22:07
Why is it that if I create an array, a = [1,2,3]
then do b = a
then b[0] = 99

why is that a[0] magically becomes 99 too?

how can I preserve 'a' after I make a copy of it, then change that new
copy?
Jason L. (Guest)
on 2009-01-16 22:26
I just found method dup.

So I can do a = [1,2,3]
b = a.dup
b[0] = 99


and then a and be will not be the same.

Thanks.
Tim P. (Guest)
on 2009-01-16 22:33
(Received via mailing list)
On Jan 16, 2009, at 1:06 PM, Jason L. wrote:

> Why is it that if I create an array, a = [1,2,3]
> then do b = a
> then b[0] = 99
>
> why is that a[0] magically becomes 99 too?
>

a = [1,2,3]
a.object_id    #=> 604244548
b = a
b.object_id    #=> 604244548

Your two variables are referring to the same object ... or another way
of saying that is all variables in ruby hold a reference to an object.
To get a copy of your array ...

b = a.dup
b.object_id    #=> 604262918


Welcome to ruby!

Blessings,
TwP
Abhi Yerra (Guest)
on 2009-01-17 00:06
(Received via mailing list)
On Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 05:06:21AM +0900, Jason L. wrote:
> Why is it that if I create an array, a = [1,2,3]
> then do b = a
> then b[0] = 99
>


> why is that a[0] magically becomes 99 too?
>

b = a points to the same area of memory as a for lists.

> how can I preserve 'a' after I make a copy of it, then change that new
> copy?

b = a.clone

Should copy the list.
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