Re: Alternative to TreeSet?

Lew <>
Mon, 6 May 2013 11:33:40 -0700 (PDT)

laredotornado wrote:

We're using Java 6. Is there a java.util.Set data structure that can return a sorted list of elements
and can contain two elements even if compareTo returns 0 against those two elements but calling
equals against the two elements returns false? TreeSet doesn't do the job.

Well, duh. I mean what did you expect, given the documentation?
"Note that the ordering maintained by a set (whether or not an explicit comparator is provided) must be
consistent with equals if it is to correctly implement the Set interface. (See Comparable or Comparator
for a precise definition of consistent with equals.) This is so because the Set interface is defined in
terms of the equals operation, but a TreeSet instance performs all element comparisons using its
compareTo (or compare) method, so two elements that are deemed equal by this method are, from the
standpoint of the set, equal. The behavior of a set is well-defined even if its ordering is inconsistent
with equals; it just fails to obey the general contract of the Set interface."

Since they mention "an explicit comparator":
"Caution should be exercised when using a comparator capable of imposing an ordering inconsistent
with equals to order a sorted set (or sorted map). Suppose a sorted set (or sorted map) with an explicit
comparator c is used with elements (or keys) drawn from a set S. If the ordering imposed by c on S is
inconsistent with equals, the sorted set (or sorted map) will behave "strangely." In particular the sorted
set (or sorted map) will violate the general contract for set (or map), which is defined in terms of


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