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Chapter 13. Collections > Collection Interfaces - Pg. 650

650 Chapter 13 Collections he data structures that you choose can make a big difference when it comes to implementing methods in a natural style, as well as for performance. Do you need to search quickly through thousands (or even millions) of sorted items? Do you need to rapidly insert and remove elements in the middle of an ordered sequence? Do you need to establish associations between keys and values? This chapter shows how the Java library can help you accomplish the traditional data structuring needed for serious programming. In college computer science programs, a course called Data Structures usually takes a semester to complete, so there are many, many books devoted to this important topic. Our coverage differs from that of a college course; we skip the theory and just tell you how to use the collection classes in the stan- dard library. T Collection Interfaces The initial release of Java supplied only a small set of classes for the most useful data struc- tures: Vector , Stack , Hashtable , BitSet , and the Enumeration interface that provides an abstract mechanism for visiting elements in an arbitrary container. That was certainly a wise choice--it takes time and skill to come up with a comprehensive collection class library. With the advent of Java SE 1.2, the designers felt that the time had come to roll out a full- fledged set of data structures. They faced a number of conflicting design decisions. They wanted the library to be small and easy to learn. They did not want the complexity of