Containers are what people want; algo/adapters/functors are "accessories"

Most developers come to the “STL supermarket” looking for containers to complement the basic array container. They like a container and use it, and soon realize they must return to the supermarket and pick the associated algo/iterator etc. Many developers find it hard to avoid the STL algorithms. Many feel in their project STL algorithms are avoidable if they write their own home-grown functions access the containers. Iterators, however, are more necessary.

Functors are somewhat arcane to those from C or non-STL environments, but functors were created out of practical necessity.
Adapters (container adapter, iterator adapters, functor adapters.) are also fairly necessary. See
So you entered the supermarket looking for containers, but to work with containers you came back to supermarket for supplementary tools, which are not “free” — all require a bit of learning.

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