GENERIC PROGRAMMING refers to writing code that will work for many types of data.
This module is based on Chapter 10 of Introduction of Introduction to Programming Using Java, by David J. Eck. Used with permission.
HOW TO AVOID REINVENTING the wheel? Many data structures and algorithms have been studied, programmed, and re-programmed by generations of computer science students. This is a valuable learning experience. Unfortunately, they have also been programmed and re-programmed by generations of working computer professionals, taking up time that could be devoted to new, more creative work. A programmer who needs a list or a binary tree shouldn't have to re-code these data structures from scratch. They are well-understood and have been programmed thousands of times before. The problem is how to make pre-written, robust data structures available to programmers. In this chapter, we'll look at Java's attempt to address this problem.