In my previous post, I wrote about the shortcomings of arrays in Bash. I think I found a good enough solution, that seems to have a very little footprint, no side effects, and only uses built in functionality.
Arrays exist in Bash since version 4.0. However, the capabilities are pretty limited, it is nowhere near other scripting languages like PHP, Ruby, or Python. You can have sequentially indexed arrays, and associative arrays, but, both of them can be only one dimension.