Arraylist declaration

Hi,

What are the advantages of declaring ArrayList as below as of J2SE5.0

ArrayList<Student> students = new ArrayList<Student>();
vs as below as J2SE 1.4
ArrayList students = new ArrayList();

please advise
Any links resources ideas highly appreciated. Thanks in advance
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gudii9Asked:
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dpearsonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The first form makes it clear that the Objects in the list are Students.

The second form - you just have a list of Objects - anything could be in there (Students, Integers, etc.).

List<Student> newStudents = new ArrayList<Student>() ;
List oldStudents = new ArrayList() ;

Student student1 = newStudents.get(0) ; // Note: no cast in Java 5
Student student2 = (Student)oldStudents.get(0) ; // Have to cast to get the value
Integer student3 = (Integer)oldStudets.get(0) ; // Whoops - cast to wrong type - won't get an error until I run this code

Doug
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Sharon SethConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Some more points on this:

This feature is called Generics . It is for compile time type checking  , which would otherwise give you a nasty class cast exception during run time . As Doug put in his student sample , with generics , the compiler always makes sure that you only use that list for students .

Note that this has been implemented only in the compiler and not in the JVM . JVM does not know/recognise generics .
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