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From Stefan Bodewig <>
Subject Re: General API question: returning Iterator, Iterable or even Collection?
Date Mon, 03 Jun 2013 16:39:37 GMT
On 2013-06-03, Matt Benson wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 9:15 AM, Jörg Schaible
> <>wrote:

>> Emmanuel Bourg wrote:

>>> Le 03/06/2013 13:44, Stefan Bodewig a écrit :

>>>> My personal preference would be Iterable as well as the consumer may
>>>> iterate over the return value multiple times without copying stuff
>>>> around, but I may be missing something.

>>> I like Iterable for the ease of use in a foreach loop. But there is a
>>> risk it uses more memory than necessary. The pros for an Iterator is to
>>> be able to stream the data without holding the whole structure in
>>> memory. I don't know if that makes a real difference for your use case.
>>> An Iterable than can only be iterated once is another solution.

>> An Iterable returns only an Iterator, no need to keep anything in memory
>> except of an (anonymous) Iterable instance.

> +1.  I program to Iterable as often as possible.  If iteration is all
> that is needed, then... um, it's all that is needed.  ;)

Sounds like my gut feeling of "I'd prefer Iterable" wasn't too far off,
then.  At least I'm not alone.

"The structure" will be a list that is kept in memory anyway for the
simple case and a temporary sorted version of it - most likely of length
1 - for the not-quite-so-simple case.  Shouldn't make a significant



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