This module defines an object type which can compactly represent an array of basic values: characters, integers, floating point numbers. Arrays are sequence types and behave very much like lists, except that the type of objects stored in them is constrained. The type is specified at object creation time by using a type code, which is a single character. The following type codes are defined:
|Type code||C Type||Python Type||Minimum size in bytes|
|'u'||Py_UNICODE||Unicode character||2 (see note)|
The 'u' typecode corresponds to Python’s unicode character. On narrow Unicode builds this is 2-bytes, on wide builds this is 4-bytes.
The actual representation of values is determined by the machine architecture (strictly speaking, by the C implementation). The actual size can be accessed through the itemsize attribute. The values stored for 'L' and 'I' items will be represented as Python long integers when retrieved, because Python’s plain integer type cannot represent the full range of C’s unsigned (long) integers.
The module defines the following type:
A new array whose items are restricted by typecode, and initialized from the optional initializer value, which must be a list, string, or iterable over elements of the appropriate type.
Changed in version 2.4: Formerly, only lists or strings were accepted.
If given a list or string, the initializer is passed to the new array’s fromlist(), fromstring(), or fromunicode() method (see below) to add initial items to the array. Otherwise, the iterable initializer is passed to the extend() method.
Array objects support the ordinary sequence operations of indexing, slicing, concatenation, and multiplication. When using slice assignment, the assigned value must be an array object with the same type code; in all other cases, TypeError is raised. Array objects also implement the buffer interface, and may be used wherever buffer objects are supported.
The following data items and methods are also supported:
Return a tuple (address, length) giving the current memory address and the length in elements of the buffer used to hold array’s contents. The size of the memory buffer in bytes can be computed as array.buffer_info() * array.itemsize. This is occasionally useful when working with low-level (and inherently unsafe) I/O interfaces that require memory addresses, such as certain ioctl() operations. The returned numbers are valid as long as the array exists and no length-changing operations are applied to it.
When using array objects from code written in C or C++ (the only way to effectively make use of this information), it makes more sense to use the buffer interface supported by array objects. This method is maintained for backward compatibility and should be avoided in new code. The buffer interface is documented in Buffer Objects.
Append items from iterable to the end of the array. If iterable is another array, it must have exactly the same type code; if not, TypeError will be raised. If iterable is not an array, it must be iterable and its elements must be the right type to be appended to the array.
Changed in version 2.4: Formerly, the argument could only be another array.
Deprecated since version 1.5.1: Use the fromfile() method.
Read n items (as machine values) from the file object f and append them to the end of the array. If less than n items are available, EOFError is raised, but the items that were available are still inserted into the array. f must be a real built-in file object; something else with a read() method won’t do.
Deprecated since version 1.5.1: Use the tofile() method.
Write all items (as machine values) to the file object f.
When an array object is printed or converted to a string, it is represented as array(typecode, initializer). The initializer is omitted if the array is empty, otherwise it is a string if the typecode is 'c', otherwise it is a list of numbers. The string is guaranteed to be able to be converted back to an array with the same type and value using eval(), so long as the array() function has been imported using from array import array. Examples:
array('l') array('c', 'hello world') array('u', u'hello \u2641') array('l', [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) array('d', [1.0, 2.0, 3.14])