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Mastering C++ Programming by Jeganathan Swaminathan

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The Standard Template Library architecture

The C++ Standard Template Library (STL) offers ready-made generic containers, algorithms that can be applied to the containers, and iterators to navigate the containers. The STL is implemented with C++ templates, and templates allow generic programming in C++.

The STL encourages a C++ developer to focus on the task at hand by freeing up the developer from writing low-level data structures and algorithms. The STL is a time-tested library that allows rapid application development.  

The STL is an interesting piece of work and architecture. Its secret formula is compile-time polymorphism. To get better performance, the STL avoids dynamic polymorphism, saying goodbye to virtual functions. Broadly, 

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