Java Generics

04 July 2004

I had expressed in an old article that I didn't see the point of generics. Having started reading Design Patterns, I do actually see the point now.

I had originally thought I could just programatically enforce the types of objects I insert into my collections, but it's not primarily about enforcing what's in the collection. It's more about being able to recognize the collection by the types it contains. I can have a method which accepts a List of ObjectX and not a List of ObjectY (those could be handled by another method by the same name but with a different parameterized input type). Enforcing what gets inserted into the list just helps facilitate using that signature later.

Filed Under: Java