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Core Java™ 2 Volume II - Advanced Features, Seventh Edition by Gary Cornell, Cay S. Horstmann

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The Collections Framework

A framework is a set of classes that form the basis for building advanced functionality. A framework contains superclasses with useful functionality, policies, and mechanisms. The user of a framework forms subclasses to extend the functionality without having to reinvent the basic mechanisms. For example, Swing is a framework for user interfaces.

The Java collections library forms a framework for collection classes. It defines a number of interfaces and abstract classes for implementors of collections (see Figure 2-10), and it prescribes certain mechanisms, such as the iteration protocol. You can use the collection classes without having to know much about the framework—we did just that in the preceding sections. However, ...

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