The STL is increasingly becoming an extension to the language that will be supported by most if not all C++ compilers. It provides a collection of generic data structures and algorithms and has been adopted by the ANSI committee for the standardisation of C++. Its principal strengths are that: * the STL generalises the concept of iterator * the STL algorithms can be used on regular arrays, thus increasing the applicability of the algorithms * the STL pays particular attention to the efficiency of the algorithms used. This book provides a comprehensive introduction and guide to the STL, pitched at the level of readers already familiar with C++. It presents a thorough overview of the capabilities of the STL, detailed discussions of the use of containers, descriptions of the algorithms and how they may be used, and how the STL may be extended. Finally, an appendix provides an alphabetical reference to the entire STL. As a result, programmers of C++ and students coming to the STL for the first time will find this an extremely useful hands-on text.