C++ Lists

title: C++ Lists

What is a STL List?

Lists in C++ are a powerful tool similar to its more well known cousin, C++ Vectors. While Vectors are a sequential container
where elements are indexed in a continuous chain, Lists are also a sequential container but they are organized differently.
List elements point to its next element so all elements are ordered in sequence but they don’t use indexing.
How? You may ask. They do this not by indexing but using a special tool called iterators. Iterators are like special pointers
whose job is to maintain the order of the list elements kind of like the link between two train cars. Here is a nice visual
of how Lists are organized compared to Vectors and Arrays.

Traversal in a list is slow as compared to Vectors and Arrays, but once a position has been found, insertion and deletion are quick.

How to declare a List

Possible declarations of a list:

#include <list> int main() { std::list<int> list1 = {1, 2, 3, 4}; std::list<int> list2 (list1); std::list<int> list3 = list2; std::list<int> list4 {list3}; std::list<int>* list5 = new std::list<int>(list4); }

Functions used with List

  • size() : Returns the number of elements in the list
  • begin() : Returns an iterator pointing to the first element of the list
  • end() : Returns an iterator pointing to the theoretical last element which follows the last element
  • push_front(data) – Adds a new element with value ‘data’ at the beginning of the list
  • push_back(data) – Adds a new element with value ‘data’ at the end of the list
  • pop_front() – Removes the first element of the list
  • pop_back() – Removes the last element of the list

How to use these Functions


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