always one “off”?
The Array Length – Example # 1
In Example # 1, we have an array with five elements. The console.log() statement reflects this as well because the “length” property of this array is “5” (i.e. this is a one-based value).
So, even though the array has a length of 5, the first element has an index of 0, and the last element (the 5th element) has an index of 4. Now this is the most important point, and it’s what explains the “off” reference: the length of the array is always one higher than the index of the last array element because the array indexes are zero-based, but the length property is one-based.
One Less Than the Length – Example # 2
This is a very common technique: when you want to iterate an array, you create a for-loop, and set the max iterations to “one less than” the length of the array. Now while this may seem tedious, it’s actually a rock-solid pattern to follow, because the array’s length will always (always) be one higher than the index of the last element in the array. So, it follows that if your loop iterates X times, and X equals “one less than” the length of the array, then your loop will always iterate over every element in the array. This takes a little getting used to, but once you do, it becomes second nature.
Console Output – Example # 3
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