Glossary: Container

A container class is one whose function is manage a collection of objects of another class. Arrays, lists and trees are all examples of collections each with a unique set of methods for adding, removing and locating members. As the concept of a collection is logically independent of the members of the collection, it follows that a collection is a suitable subject to be an independent class. For example it would seem quite wrong to have to reimplement all the machinery of a list, each time a new type of object needed to be stored in a list.

Technical Note

There are a number of ways to implement container classes. The one chosen by root it to use pointers to a primordial class and require all classes that are to be held in containers inherit from this class so that they can be addressed by such pointers. Another way to implement containers is to use templates.
See OO Concepts: Containers
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