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Collection classes should clearly specify in their documentation any restrictions on what elements may be added. If a collection refuses to add a particular element for any reason other than that it already contains the element, it must throw an exception (rather than returning false). This preserves the invariant that a collection always contains the specified element after this call returns."

As you can see, the behavior is defined in a very general way. There is no indication as to how that behavior is to be achieved.

The add method in Set

As you can see from the list above , the Set interface extends the Collection interface. In keeping with the general form of object-oriented design, Set is more specialized than Collection . Therefore, Set makes the contract for the add method more specific for objects of type Set . Here is some text from the Oracle documentation describing the contract of the add method for any class that implements the Set interface.

"Adds the specified element to this set if it is not already present (optional operation). More formally, adds the specified element e to this set if the set contains no element e2 such that (e==null ? e2==null : e.equals(e2)).

If this set already contains the element, the call leaves the set unchanged and returns false. In combination with the restriction on constructors, this ensures that sets never contain duplicate elements.

The stipulation above does not imply that sets must accept all elements; sets may refuse to add any particular element, including null, and throw an exception, as described in the specification for Collection.add. Individual set implementations should clearly document any restrictions on the elements that they may contain."

How do the contracts differ?

The contract for the add method, as declared in the Collection interface, does not prohibit duplicate elements, but does make the provision forinterfaces that extend Collection to prohibit duplicate elements.

The contract for the add method in the Set interface does prohibit duplicate elements.

What about the List interface?

Here is some text from the Oracle documentation describing the contract of the add method for any class that implements the List interface.

"Appends the specified element to the end of this list (optional operation).

Lists that support this operation may place limitations on what elements may be added to this list. In particular, some lists will refuse to add null elements, and others will impose restrictions on the type of elements that may be added. List classes should clearly specify in their documentation any restrictions on what elements may be added."

As you can see, the contract for the add method declared in the List interface, (which extends Collection) , does not prohibit duplicate elements. However, it does have some other requirementsthat don't apply to Set objects. For example, it must add new elements at the end of the list.

A major difference

This is one of the major differences between lists and sets in the Java Collection Framework. Both List objects and Set objects are collections, because both of the interfaces extend the Collection interface. However, the Set interface contract prohibits duplicate elements while the List interface contract does not prohibit duplicate elements.

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Object-oriented programming (oop) with java. OpenStax CNX. Jun 29, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11441/1.201
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