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Thread: Help: Data Structures and Data Types

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    Default Help: Data Structures and Data Types

    Hey everyone!

    I've been self-teaching myself Java for a quite a bit now. Though I still consider myself a beginner, I feel as though I've learned a lot. Oftentimes though when I'm learning things by myself I like to make sure no terms are left unambiguous for me. For example, I while learning the language, I made sure to understand the difference between parameters and arguments and things like fields and variables. Right now though I'm trying to grasp what is truly meant when people say "Data Structures" and "Data Types".

    As of right now, after researching a lot, I'm thinking Data Types are simply the different types ranging from the primitive types (integer, boolean) to the man-made classes (maybe a Puppy class for example). Data Structures I'm thinking are ways of organizing these Data Types? Yet this still confuses me as I see Arrays called Data Types but at other times called Data Structures. What category would Enumerations fit in?

    Thanks in advance!


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    Default Re: Help: Data Structures and Data Types

    Treat a data structure as the concept of how the data is organized in storage. Essentially this is the important part because it leads into accessing the stored data.
    The data type is just the type of data in question. Words, numbers, or in the case that leads to most confusion, a data structure itself as a data type. Take the Array for example..

    When people refer to a data structure, they refer to the idea of all elements as a whole unit. So in the case of an array, the array itself is the structure, and a single element in the array is of a data type.
    In the case of an array of arrays, where one array holds several arrays (which each internally have their own elements which can also be arrays or not), the outermost array is the main data structure, and the inner arrays are data types, which just happen to be a type that is also a structure. It is like putting a box inside a box. The inner box can hold an item, and that item can be a box or a shoe or a number.

    When it all boils down, you have to consider the context where it is used to understand the meaning

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    Default Re: Help: Data Structures and Data Types

    Aaah, that was a perfect explanation. Thanks so much! I really appreciate your quick response

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