March 6, 2021
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The Google Collections Library

  • By Dick Wall
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The Google collections library has the potential to both increase your productivity and significantly clean up your code. I hope I have laid out the decision points clearly in this article for anyone thinking of using it on a project. Because the library is open source, the risks are relatively small, but the Java 7 standards may diverge from what this library does now, meaning that in the future some refactoring might be required to bring the code back into standards compliance. The alternatives would be to use another collection library, write your own, or just work with the standard libraries, and all of these may have similar problems long term.

Certainly, I have found the Google Collections Library to save me a lot of time and improve my code, and I will continue to use it for work and personal projects whenever possible.

While this article was being reviewed by various members of the Google Collections Library team, I discovered that a new version of the library is in the works. We decided to go ahead and release this article anyway, because there is no firm date for the next version yet, but I will come back and revisit any changes in a future article once the next release is available.


I approached writing this article with a great deal of care. My intention is to spread the word about a great library, without trying to take credit for anything beyond working on an introductory article for it. As such, I would like to thank all of the great engineers at Google who have put in the work to create and improve the library over the last few years. I did originally try and pull out some names from the source code, but this does nothing to recognize the significant effort of those who improved the libraries rather than wrote the first version. Suffice to say that many Google engineers have been involved in creating and improving this library.

I would also like to specifically thank Kevin Bourrillion and Jared Levy for their work in preparing the library to be open-sourced, making sure that the open-sourcing of the library actually happened and their continuing commitment to improve it.

About the Author

Dick Wall is a developer advocate for Java technologies at Google, based in Mountain View, part of the Google Developer Program. He also co-hosts the Java Posse podcast, a regular Java-centric news and interviews show that can be found at http://javaposse.com.

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This article was originally published on March 20, 2008

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