should array index start at 0 or 1?
the eminent computer scientist Edsger W Dijkstra (EWD) thinks it should start at 0. See: 〔Why numbering should start at zero By Edsger W Dijkstra. @ www.cs.utexas.edu…〕. But it's not really convincing.
those starting at 1 include: FORTRAN, SASL, MATLAB, Smalltalk, Lua, Julia, Mathematica.
Seems most number crunching languages start at 1. New interesting one is Julia. Mathematica is a special case. It starts at 1, but actually, 0 refers to the head of expression, so it's all consistent.
Python follows EWD's recommendation to a tee. It start at 0, and the ending index does not include the element. Example:
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*- # python3 a = list(range(1,4)) print(a) # [1, 2, 3]. most annoying. b = ["a", "b", "c"] print(b[0:1]) # ['a']
Python's way is the most painful to work with.
most other langs, even they start at 0, but a ending index usually is inclusive. For example, here's Perl.
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*- # perl use Data::Dumper; @a = ('a','b','c'); @b = @a[0..1]; print Dumper(\@b); # ['a', 'b']
in my view, it should start at 1, and ending index should be inclusive. Because that's just easier to work with. Also, when you have nested array, starting at 1 is much easier to work with. Nested array is heavily used in math, for marix, tensor, tree, no wonder most number crunchers start at 1.
what's your experience?