Chapter 21. Delving into the STL: Containers and Iterators

Many programmers who claim to know C++ have never heard of the standard template library. As a Professional C++ programmer, it behooves you to familiarize yourself with its powerful capabilities. You can save yourself immeasurable time and energy by incorporating the STL containers and algorithms into your programs instead of writing and debugging your own versions. Now that you have read Chapters 1 through 20, and are an expert C++ designer, coder, tester, and debugger, it's time to master the STL.

Chapter 4 introduced the STL, described its basic philosophy and provided an overview of the various containers and algorithms. You should be familiar with that section of Chapter 4, as well as the content of most of the Chapters in Parts 2 and 3, specifically Chapter 11 and Chapter 16.

This chapter begins a three-part tour of the STL by covering the STL containers, including:

  • Containers Overview: requirements on elements, general error handling, and iterators.

  • Sequential Containers: vector, deque, and list.

  • Container Adapters: queue, priority_queue, and stack.

  • Associative Containers: the pair utility, map, multimap, set, and multiset.

  • Other Containers: arrays, strings, streams, and bitset.

Chapter 22 continues the STL by describing and showing examples of the generic algorithms that you can use on container elements. The chapter also describes the predefined function object classes in the STL and shows you how to use them effectively ...

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