More persuasion on the benefits of generics
Chapter 3: Parameterized typing with generics: 3.1
Last updated: 5/7/2008
Joe Albahari provided a good example of where generics really can save you from bugs. While you might not have any problem remembering that everything in a particular
ArrayList is an
int (boxed, of course) you may find it relatively tricky to find all the accesses if you later change your mind and decide it should actually be full of
decimal values. With generics and
List<T>, that refactoring exercise is trivial because of the extra checking the compiler can provide. In the risky world of
ArrayList you've got to rely on being careful.
Joe also gave another example which he finds usually persuades people of the benefits of generics. Which of these lines would you rather use to find the length of the fourth element of a list?