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Other parts of the STL

If you understand algorithms, iterators, and containers, then you understand almost everything there is to know about the STL. The STL does, however, include several other types of components.

First, the STL includes several utilities: very basic concepts and functions that are used in many different parts of the library. The concept Assignable, for example, describes types that have assignment operators and copy constructors; almost all STL classes are models of Assignable, and almost all stl algorithms require their arguments to be models of Assignable.

Second, the STL includes some low-level mechanisms for allocating and deallocating memory. Allocators are very specialized, and you can safely ignore them for almost all purposes.

Finally, the STL includes a large collection of function objects, also known as functors. Just as iterators are a generalization of pointers, function objects are a generalization of functions: a function object is anything that you can call using the ordinary function call syntax. There are several different concepts relating to function objects, including Unary Function (a function object that takes a single argument, i.e. one that is called as f(x)) and Binary Function (a function object that takes two arguments, i.e. one that is called as f(x, y)). Function objects are an important part of generic programming because they allow abstraction not only over the types of objects, but also over the operations that are being performed.


Refinement | Standard Template Library Programmer`s Guide | How to use the STL documentation







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