So i'm trying to make a module for my program that returns a multidimensional array based on another array in the form of a command-line argument.

Here is the module that's keeping me up at night:

public static double[][][] getDimensions(String [] args)
        final int l = args.length;
        double dimensions [][][] = new double[1][l][l];
        for(int count = 0; count<l; count++)

           dimensions[count][count][count] = {20.6, 15.7, 12};
           dimensions[count][count][count] = {17.6, 15.7, 12};
           dimensions[count][count][count] = {45, 18.5, 15};
           dimensions[count][count][count] = {32.6, 17, 15};
           dimensions[count][count][count] = {14.5, 9.8, 7.1};
        return dimensions;

The error i get is with the consequence of the if statement:
dimensions[count][count][count] = {20.6, 15.7, 12}; - Illegal start of expression
The thing is.. im pretty sure i've forgotten something ridiculously obvious but i'm tired of getting this error.

Your for loop starts count at 0 and says it must be less than 1 so it loops once and count is always 0. next iteration count is 1 and it wont loop as count is not less than 1. edit -added not

the expression:


is read as dimensions[0][0][0] and this is how you map to exactly one element of an array. In fact it looks like your dimensions array can contain only one element. there is no dimensions[1][0][0] for example. that would require an array initialization for the first index of 2.


Thanks for replying so quickly, Mike. Let me explain the for loop, first. It looks like count<1 but it's actually count<l (lowercase L). This is instantiated in the first line of the module and represents the length of the command-line argument args.length. The array on the other hand is used so that dimensions[0][0][0] refer to the width, depth and height of a certain product. That's why i didnt need dimensions[0][0][1] or anything like that. Each 'row' refers to a certain product's dimensions. I'm not quite sure what you mean by an index of 2, but i thought i got the gist of it (or maybe i didnt.. im very new to programming).

The illegal start of expression error still doesnt go away though. It's killing me! Am i creating the arrays incorrectly?

gotcha. probably a bad idea to use L for readability. Maybe bite the bullet and use length :)

the assignment is still wrong.


This is still how you assign a single element.

i.e if count is 5 you have,

dimensions[5][5][5] = ONETHING;

similar to how



Also i'm not sure that a 3 dimensional array is needed here. Seems you want

so if there are 5 args and L is 5 you have 5 indexes to use that can store 3 things,

then just do for example:


as to how to do an assignment of dimensions[count] without specifying the 3 indexes, i'm not familiar with that. maybe dimensions[count] = {20.6, 15.7, 12}; would work don't know. You can google ways of assigning values to multi dimensional arrays.


Hey Mike,

I just tried your solution. Thanks for clearing up my misconceptions about multidimensional arrays. Your code worked like a charm, you've been an enormous help.

Thanks again,