When T doesn’t Match Itslef

Thats a true story.
If a method returns you a List<T> doesn’t mean that you can guarantee getting a List<T>, it might do, and might not. Not even a subtype of T, actually you have to declare that T is covariant explicitly.

class Foo{
class Bar extends Foo{
List<Foo> foos = new ArrayList<Bar>(); // doesn't compile
List<? extends Foo> foos = new ArrayList<Bar>(); // compiles

But thats fine, the problem is that when T doesn’t match itself either, for ex:

static <T> List<T> getTs(){
   String[] strings = {"type","system"};
   List<T> list = new ArrayList<>();
   for (String string : strings) {
   return list;

List<Foo> foos = getTs(); // compiles fine, runs fine

// problems happen here
//java.lang.ClassCastException: java.lang.String cannot be cast to Foo
for (Foo foo : foos) { 

And btw, this code is not so artificial, here is a real world example. Gson API for JSON parsing,

static <T> List<T> getTs(){
  Type type = new TypeToken<List<T>>() {}.getType();
  List<T> list = new Gson().fromJson("[{id:1}]" , type);
  return list;
List<Foo> foos = getTs(); // fine, but doesn't contain Foos

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