Algorithms are at the core of computing. To be able to write an algorithm once and for all to work with any type of sequence makes your programs both simpler and safer. The ability to customize algorithms at runtime has revolutionalized software development.
The subset of the standard C++ library known as the Standard Template Library (STL) was originally designed around generic algorithms’ code that processes sequences of any type of values in a type-safe manner. The goal was to use predefined algorithms for almost every task, instead of hand-coding loops every time you need to process a collection of data. This power comes with a bit of a learning curve, however. By the time you get to the end of this chapter, you should be able to decide for yourself whether you find the algorithms addictive or too confusing to remember. If you’re like most people, you’ll resist them at first but then tend to use them more and more.
The Standard C++ Library: Generic algorithms (35.5 KiB, 5,225 hits)