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The indexed and hashed parts of a Lua table

A Lua table contains both a sequentially indexed section and a hash keyed section (and a few other things too). When you sort the table, you sort only the index keyed section, when you use ipairs you use just the first (indexed) section, but when you use pairs you use the whole table. See source code example.

Because of these two sections, a table is the only Lua native collection object (userdata is available via C), and it is used for Vectors, Lists, Tuples, Arrays, Stacks, queues, dictionaries, associative arrays, hashed and objects. After all, Lua has a tiny footprint at it's great to be able to use a single type in so many ways.

We teach Programming in Lua at our Melksham Training Centre regularly, and can run on site courses in many countries to our standard agenda, or to an agenda tuned for your specific needs.
(written 2009-08-10, updated 2009-08-12)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
U105 - Lua - Tables and the table library.
  [4571] Lua - using modules to add your own utilities - (2015-11-04)
  [4273] Dot or Colon separator between table name and member in Lua - what is the difference? - (2014-05-06)
  [4248] Metatables, Metamethods, classes and objects in Lua - (2014-03-18)
  [3725] Lua Tables - (2012-05-10)
  [3694] Special __ methods you can use in Lua metatables - (2012-04-12)
  [2703] Lua Metatables - (2010-04-02)
  [2699] Lua tables - they are everything - (2010-03-30)
  [2499] ourdog is Greyhound, Staffie and Ginger Cake - (2009-11-09)
  [1742] Lua - Table elements v table as a whole - (2008-08-07)
  [1697] Sorting in lua - specifying your own sort routine - (2008-07-05)


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Ten years in Melksham - looking forward to ten more.
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Finding literals rather than patterns in Lua
Dot, dot, dot in Lua - variable length parameter lists
The indexed and hashed parts of a Lua table
Automatically initialising Lua variables the first time
Reading a data file and sensing EOF in Lua
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Training Classes in other tongues
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