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The second kind of template, a class template, extends the same concept to classes. A class template specialization is a class. Class templates are often used to make generic containers. For example, writing an abstract templates STL has a linked list container. This allows alternative implementations to be provided based on certain characteristics of the parameterized type that is being instantiated.
Template specialization has two purposes: For example, consider a sort template function. One of the primary activities that such a function does is to swap or exchange the values in two of the container's positions. If the values are large in terms of the number of bytes it takes to store each of themthen it is often quicker to first build a separate list of pointers to the objects, sort those pointers, and then build the final sorted sequence.
If the values are quite small however it is usually fastest to just swap the values in-place as needed. Furthermore, if the parameterized type is already of some pointer-type, then there is no need to build a separate pointer array. Template specialization allows the template creator to write different implementations and to specify the characteristics that the parameterized type s must have for each implementation to be used.
Unlike function templates, class templates can be partially specialized.
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That means that an alternate version of the class template code can be provided when some of the template parameters are known, while leaving other template parameters generic.
This can be used, for example, to create a default implementation the primary specialization that assumes that copying a parameterizing type is expensive and then create partial specializations for types that are cheap to copy, thus increasing overall efficiency.
Clients of such a class template just use specializations of it without needing to know whether the compiler used the primary specialization or some partial specialization in each case. Class templates can also be fully specialized, which means that an alternate implementation can be provided when all of the parameterizing types are known.
Advantages and disadvantages[ edit ] Some uses of templates, such as the max function, were previously filled by function-like preprocessor macros a legacy of the C programming language. For example, here is a possible max macro: Macros are always expanded inline; templates can also be expanded as inline functions when the compiler deems it appropriate.
Thus both function-like macros and function templates have no run-time overhead.
However, templates are generally considered an improvement over macros for these purposes. Templates avoid some of the common errors found in code that makes heavy use of function-like macros, such as evaluating parameters with side effects twice.
Perhaps most importantly, templates were designed to be applicable to much larger problems than macros. There are three primary drawbacks to the use of templates: Many compilers historically have poor support for templates, thus the use of templates can make code somewhat less portable. Almost all compilers produce confusing, long, or sometimes unhelpful error messages when errors are detected in code that uses templates.
Finally, the use of templates requires the compiler to generate a separate instance of the templated class or function for every permutation of type parameters used with it. So the indiscriminate use of templates can lead to code bloatresulting in excessively large executables.
However, judicious use of template specialization and derivation can dramatically reduce such code bloat in some cases: So, can derivation be used to reduce the problem of code replicated because templates are used?
This would involve deriving a template from an ordinary class. This technique proved successful in curbing code bloat in real use. People who do not use a technique like this have found that replicated code can cost megabytes of code space even in moderate size programs.
It is a nice approach for creating generic heap-based containers.
The extra instantiations generated by templates can also cause debuggers to have difficulty working gracefully with templates.
For example, setting a debug breakpoint within a template from a source file may either miss setting the breakpoint in the actual instantiation desired or may set a breakpoint in every place the template is instantiated.
Also, because the compiler needs to perform macro-like expansions of templates and generate different instances of them at compile time, the implementation source code for the templated class or function must be available e.
Templated classes or functions, including much of the Standard Template Library STLif not included in header files, cannot be compiled.
This is in contrast to non-templated code, which may be compiled to binary, providing only a declarations header file for code using it.
This may be a disadvantage by exposing the implementing code, which removes some abstractions, and could restrict its use in closed-source projects. Template parameters in D are not restricted to just types and primitive values, but also allow arbitrary compile-time values such as strings and struct literalsand aliases to arbitrary identifiers, including other templates or template instantiations.Articles.
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Articles. An article is a piece of writing designed to clearly and concisely convey information to a reader. Articles are generally non-fiction and are used to propagate information such .