Wednesday, February 4, 2009

STL iterator ^algorithm, briefly

"iterator is an intermediary between data structures and algorithms." Here algorithms refer to Comp Science algorithms, so STL algorithms are not an monopoly. You can write your own algorithms but Scott Meyers says no.

STL books showcase stl algorithms but also include DIY algorithm.

Most STL algorithms need iterators [1] as arguments to work on the containers. Algorithms are container-agnostic. Iterators are a device of abstraction. Generic algorithms are presented in terms of generic iterators, not specific containers.

[1] The exact source code of these STL algorithms often mention fake types in place of iterators. When reading these source code or APIs, It's extremely important to distinguish between real vs fake types.

In Java, Collection.java interface and Collections.java class contain methods applicable on many containers.

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