domingo, abril 19, 2015

Effective Java (Remarked) - Generics

Item 23: Don’t use raw types in new code (stability, security, error-prone)

In summary, using raw types can lead to exceptions at runtime, so don’t use them in new code. They are provided only for compatibility and interoperability with legacy code that predates the introduction of generics.

When use? always.

Item 24: Eliminate unchecked warnings (stability, error-prone)

If you can’t eliminate a warning, and you can prove that the code that provoked the warning is typesafe, then (and only then) suppress the warning with an @SuppressWarnings("unchecked") annotation. In summary, unchecked warnings are important. Don’t ignore them. Every unchecked warning represents the potential for a ClassCastException at run- time.

When use? always.

Item 25: Prefer lists to arrays (design, maintainability)

Generally speaking, arrays and generics don’t mix well. If you find yourself mixing them and getting compile-time errors or warnings, your first impulse should be to replace the arrays with lists. In summary, arrays and generics have very different type rules. Arrays are covariant and reified; generics are invariant and erased. As a consequence, arrays provide runtime type safety but not compile-time type safety and vice versa for generics.

When use? it depends of the context. But when you work with objects, prefer lists.

Item 26: Favor generic types (design)

In summary, generic types are safer and easier to use than types that require casts in client code. When you design new types, make sure that they can be used without such casts. This will often mean making the types generic. Generify your existing types as time permits. This will make life easier for new users of these types without breaking existing clients.

When use? always whatever if you work in a API or a consumer code.

Item 27: Favor generic methods (design)

In summary, generic methods, like generic types, are safer and easier to use than methods that require their clients to cast input parameters and return values. Like types, you should make sure that your new methods can be used without casts, which will often mean making them generic. And like types, you should generify your existing methods to make life easier for new users without breaking existing clients.

When use? always whatever if you work in a API or a consumer code.

Item 28: Use bounded wildcards to increase API flexibility (design)

In summary, using wildcard types in your APIs, while tricky, makes the APIs far more flexible. If you write a library that will be widely used, the proper use of wildcard types should be considered mandatory. Remember the basic rule: producer-extends, consumer-super (PECS). And remember that all comparables and comparators are consumers.

When use? always.

Item 29: Consider type safe heterogeneous containers (safe, error-prone)

In summary, the normal use of generics, exemplified by the collections APIs, restricts you to a fixed number of type parameters per container. You can get around this restriction by placing the type parameter on the key rather than the container.

When use? always.

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