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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: All
Dec 23, 1998

Why qsort is Still Useful in C++

C++ defines a set of generic algorithms such as sort and find. However, the corresponding C algorithms, qsort and bsearch, are still useful in C++ programs for at least three reasons:
  • Legacy code. Familiarity with C algorithms is needed to maintain legacy C code.
  • Efficiency. You cannot apply STL algorithms to items that are not stored in an STL container. To apply these algorithms to a built-in array, you first have to copy it into a container--an operation that incurs runtime overhead.
  • Applicability to non-OO data types. STL algorithms rely on operators == and >. However, these operators are either meaningless or not defined when applied to plain structs or built-in arrays. C algorithms do not rely on these operators to work.
Danny Kalev
 
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