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Description

An slist is a singly linked list: a list where each element is linked to the next element, but not to the previous element. [1] That is, it is a Sequence that supports forward but not backward traversal, and (amortized) constant time insertion and removal of elements. Slists, like lists, have the important property that insertion and splicing do not invalidate iterators to list elements, and that even removal invalidates only the iterators that point to the elements that are removed. The ordering of iterators may be changed (that is, slist::iterator might have a different predecessor or successor after a list operation than it did before), but the iterators themselves will not be invalidated or made to point to different elements unless that invalidation or mutation is explicit. [2]

The main difference between slist and list is that list's iterators are bidirectional iterators, while slist's iterators are forward iterators. This means that slist is less versatile than list; frequently, however, bidirectional iterators are unnecessary. You should usually use slist unless you actually need the extra functionality of list, because singly linked lists are smaller and faster than double linked lists.

Important performance note: like every other Sequence, slist defines the member functions insert and erase. Using these member functions carelessly, however, can result in disastrously slow programs. The problem is that insert 's first argument is an iterator pos , and that it inserts the new element(s) beforepos . This means that insert must find the iterator just before pos; this is a constant-time operation for list, since list has bidirectional iterators, but for slist it must find that iterator by traversing the list from the beginning up to pos . In other words: insert and erase are slow operations anywhere but near the beginning of the slist.

Slist provides the member functions insert_after and erase_after, which are constant time operations: you should always use insert_after and erase_after whenever possible. If you find that insert_after and erase_after aren't adequate for your needs, and that you often need to use insert and erase in the middle of the list, then you should probably use list instead of slist.


See also | Standard Template Library Programmer`s Guide | Definition







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