generics – Kotlin: How to work with List casts: Unchecked Cast: kotlin.collections.List to kotlin.colletions.List

generics – Kotlin: How to work with List casts: Unchecked Cast: kotlin.collections.List to kotlin.colletions.List

In Kotlin, theres no way to check the generic parameters at runtime in general case (like just checking the items of a List<T>, which is only a special case), so casting a generic type to another with different generic parameters will raise a warning unless the cast lies within variance bounds.

There are different solutions, however:

  • You have checked the type and you are quite sure that the cast is safe. Given that, you can suppress the warning with @Suppress(UNCHECKED_CAST).

    @Suppress(UNCHECKED_CAST)
    val waypointList = list as? List<Waypoint> ?: return null
    
  • Use .filterIsInstance<T>() function, which checks the item types and returns a list with the items of the passed type:

    val waypointList: List<Waypoint> = list.filterIsInstance<Waypoint>()
    
    if (waypointList.size != list.size)
        return null
    

    or the same in one statement:

    val waypointList = list.filterIsInstance<Waypoint>()
        .apply { if (size != list.size) return null }
    

    This will create a new list of the desired type (thus avoiding unchecked cast inside), introducing a little overhead, but in the same time it saves you from iterating through the list and checking the types (in list.foreach { ... } line), so it wont be noticeable.

  • Write a utility function that checks the type and returns the same list if the type is correct, thus encapsulating the cast (still unchecked from the compilers point of view) inside it:

    @Suppress(UNCHECKED_CAST)
    inline fun <reified T : Any> List<*>.checkItemsAre() =
            if (all { it is T })
                this as List<T>
            else null
    

    With the usage:

    val waypointList = list.checkItemsAre<Waypoint>() ?: return null
    

To improve @hotkeys answer heres my solution:

val waypointList = list.filterIsInstance<Waypoint>().takeIf { it.size == list.size }

This gives you the List<Waypoint> if all the items can be casted, null otherwise.

generics – Kotlin: How to work with List casts: Unchecked Cast: kotlin.collections.List to kotlin.colletions.List

In case of generic classes casts cannot be checked because type information is erased in runtime. But you check that all objects in the list are Waypoints so you can just suppress the warning with @Suppress(UNCHECKED_CAST).

To avoid such warnings you have to pass a List of objects convertible to Waypoint. When youre using * but trying to access this list as a typed list youll always need a cast and this cast will be unchecked.

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