there is nothing new under the sun

i’ve had the opportunity to do some c++ lately, and i’ve been reading up on stl iterators. i couldn’t help but notice similar use cases with input iterators and the generators found in python and now javascript, though the mechanisms are very different. two things stick out to me.


c++ iterators are so much more complex than generators. they introduce a hierarchy of categories that provides more control. they (at least basic c++ iterators) also conflate traversal and element access — something i understand that boost attempts to untangle.

is this complexity necessary? it probably allows for higher performance, and python and javascript don’t concern themselves with as much type information as c++. but is all of that worth the complexity it introduces?

i think it’s telling that python and javascript generators provide the lowest level of iterator functionality and leave the more complex stuff up to the application. i don’t see the necessity for the added complexity, but then again, i’m still pretty new to c++ ☺

it’s all been done before

either way i always find it interesting to learn about concepts that, while new to some languages, have existed for a while in others. there is still nothing new under the sun, but there are certainly opportunities to learn from prior experience.

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