Albert Albert - 1 year ago 59
Java Question

Java: How to write a `zip` function? What should be the return type?

What should be the return type of a

function? (
as in most other languages, e.g. read here)

I thought about some Pair-type but that does not exist in Java. It is often states that this is because a specialized Pair-class is better than a general one (see this question). However, this is not possible in a general

Answer Source

Since you appear to be determined to ignore people with many years Java experience, here is code which does the same as the zip function in python.

public static <T> List<List<T>> zip(List<T>... lists) {
    List<List<T>> zipped = new ArrayList<List<T>>();
    for (List<T> list : lists) {
        for (int i = 0, listSize = list.size(); i < listSize; i++) {
            List<T> list2;
            if (i >= zipped.size())
                zipped.add(list2 = new ArrayList<T>());
                list2 = zipped.get(i);
    return zipped;

public static void main(String[] args) {
        List<Integer> x = Arrays.asList(1, 2, 3);
        List<Integer> y = Arrays.asList(4, 5, 6);
        List<List<Integer>> zipped = zip(x, y);


[[1, 4], [2, 5], [3, 6]]
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