2–3–4 trees are an isometry of red–black trees, meaning that they are equivalent data structures. In other words, for every 2–3–4 tree, there exists at least one red–black tree with data elements in the same order. Moreover, insertion and deletion operations on 2–3–4 trees that cause node expansions, splits and merges are equivalent to the color-flipping and rotations in red–black trees. Introductions to red–black trees usually introduce 2–3–4 trees first, because they are conceptually simpler. 2–3–4 trees, however, can be difficult to implement in most programming languages because of the large number of special cases involved in operations on the tree. Red–black trees are simpler to implement, so tend to be used instead.