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Chapter 5

The MFC Collection Classes

Many C++ programmers use the Standard Template Library (STL) because of its convenient implementations of arrays, linked lists, maps, and other containers. In the language of STL, a container is an object that stores collections of data. But before there was STL, there was MFC. MFC provides its own implementations of arrays, linked lists, and maps in a family of classes known as the MFC collection classes. Even though it's perfectly safe to use STL classes in MFC applications, many MFC programmers prefer MFC's collection classes to STL's, either because they're more familiar with MFC's or because they don't want to increase their applications' EXE size by linking to two separate class libraries.

With the MFC collection classes to lend a hand, you might never have to write a linked list from scratch again. This chapter introduces the MFC collection classes and provides provides key insights into their use and operation.

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