Security with data structures

Make a Hash

Article from Issue 148/2013

What do all programs have in common? They store data at some point, usually in arrays – everything from commandline options to the input and output. But how is data actually stored by the program? Kurt explains.

Many data types and structures exist – from simple strings and integers to multi-dimensional arrays. One of the most common and useful types is the simple growable array that can contain an arbitrary number of elements. You can basically put data in, look it up, and remove it as needed; this structure is also referred to as a one-dimensional array. Often, you can also insert an array as a data element into an existing array, giving you a multi-dimensional array that lets you do things like create a “customer” array with a number of elements containing a customer name, phone number, and so forth.

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