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From Jeff Dever <>
Subject [httpclient] replace the PostMethod parameters HashMap with a List
Date Wed, 10 Jul 2002 06:38:04 GMT

Propose to change the parameters datastructure in PostMethod from its
current HashMap to an ArrayList (or Vector) of NameValuePair objects. 
This change would lead to simpler and more robust code in the PostMethod
with more deterministic behaviour for the following reasons:

1) HashMap looses any insertion order.  If the client wants to have the
encoded parameters to show up in a particular order, they are unable.

2) Hash map requres unique keys where there is no reason that multiple
parameters with the same name cannot be POSTed.  The current
implementation replaces the string value with a List if there is a
addParameter with a repeated name key.  Every get from the HashMap then
has to do an instanceOf to see if the value is a String or a List.

3) Hash maps are no faster than a Vector for typical operations.  They
both have O(1) insertions and both do O(n) removal operations to
generate the body.  HashMap is only faster when a search is required,
such as for getParameter(String), setParameter(String, String) and
removeParameter(String) which should rarely be called.

I would also move to depricate setParameter(String, String) as it is
confusing in the API.  (setParameter overwrites any existing parameter
of the same name where addParameter accumulates to the list of
parameters).  The setParameter functionality can also be effected by
calling removeParameter then addParameter already.

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