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Collections vs Arrays

Krep Lock
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 19, 2006
Posts: 43
So I am now labouring over the Java syntax and grammar for the Collections Framework, learning how to use ArrayList et al, and I'm wondering why would I use arrays anymore? Every new programmer must go through this, I'm wondering if someone here might post a couple bulletpoints on when to use the humble array instead of the more convenient ArrayList.

Does anyone have a link to a treatment on the subject of when to use what?

Knowing how is not enough, one has to know when and why.

Thanks.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

That convenience comes at a cost. Arrays are significantly faster for random access and iteration. Also, arrays can hold primitive types. (Autoboxing has its own overhead.)

For discussion along with comparison test results, see Choosing an implementation from Eckel's Thinking in Java.


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subject: Collections vs Arrays