Iterators and ranges
As seen in the previous examples, the standard library algorithms operate on iterators and ranges rather than container types. This section will focus on iterators and the new concept of ranges introduced in C++20. Using containers and algorithms correctly becomes easy once you have grasped iterators and ranges.
Iterators form the basis of the standard library algorithms and ranges. Iterators are the glue between data structures and algorithms. As you have already seen, C++ containers store their elements in very different ways. Iterators provide a generic way to navigate through the elements in a sequence. By having algorithms operate on iterators rather than container types, the algorithms become more generic and flexible since they do not depend on the type of container and the way the containers arrange their elements in memory.