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Chapter ‎18   Unsafe code

7.5.6 Element access

An element-access consists of a primary-no-array-creation-expression, followed by a “[“ token, followed by an expression-list, followed by a “]” token. The expression-list consists of one or more expressions, separated by commas.

element-access: primary-no-array-creation-expression   [   expression-list   ]

expression-list: expression expression-list   ,   expression

If the primary-no-array-creation-expression of an element-access is a value of an array-type, the element-access is an array access (§‎7.5.6.1). Otherwise, the primary-no-array-creation-expression must be a variable or value of a class, struct, or interface type that has one or more indexer members, in which case the element-access is an indexer access (§‎7.5.6.2).

7.5.6.1 Array access

For an array access, the primary-no-array-creation-expression of the element-access must be a value of an array-type. The number of expressions in the expression-list must be the same as the rank of the array-type, and each expression must be of type int, uint, long, ulong, or of a type that can be implicitly converted to one or more of these types.

The result of evaluating an array access is a variable of the element type of the array, namely the array element selected by the value(s) of the expression(s) in the expression-list.

The run-time processing of an array access of the form P[A], where P is a primary-no-array-creation-expression of an array-type and A is an expression-list, consists of the following steps:

P is evaluated. If this evaluation causes an exception, no further steps are executed.

The index expressions of the expression-list are evaluated in order, from left to right. Following evaluation of each index expression, an implicit conversion (§‎6.1) to one of the following types is performed: int, uint, long, ulong. The first type in this list for which an implicit conversion exists is chosen. For instance, if the index expression is of type short then an implicit conversion to int is performed, since implicit conversions from short to int and from short to long are possible. If evaluation of an index expression or the subsequent implicit conversion causes an exception, then no further index expressions are evaluated and no further steps are executed.

The value of P is checked to be valid. If the value of P is null, a System.NullReferenceException is thrown and no further steps are executed.

The value of each expression in the expression-list is checked against the actual bounds of each dimension of the array instance referenced by P. If one or more values are out of range, a System.IndexOutOfRangeException is thrown and no further steps are executed.

The location of the array element given by the index expression(s) is computed, and this location becomes the result of the array access.

7.5.6.2 Indexer access

For an indexer access, the primary-no-array-creation-expression of the element-access must be a variable or value of a class, struct, or interface type, and this type must implement one or more indexers that are applicable with respect to the expression-list of the element-access.

The compile-time processing of an indexer access of the form P[A], where P is a primary-no-array-creation-expression of a class, struct, or interface type T, and A is an expression-list, consists of the following steps:

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