Generic Programming and Collection Classes
HOW TO AVOID REINVENTING the wheel? Many data
structures and algorithms, such as those from the previous chapter, have been studied,
programmed, and re-programmed by generations of computer science students.
This is a valuable learning experience. Unfortunately, they have also
been programmed and re-programmed by generations of working computer
professionals, taking up time that could be devoted to new, more creative
work. A programmer who needs a list or a binary tree shouldn't have to
re-code these data structures from scratch. They are well-understood and
have been programmed thousands of times before. The problem is how to
make pre-written, robust data structures available to programmers. In this
chapter, we'll look at Java's attempt to address this problem.
Contents of Chapter 12: