Templates in c. This article is about when and why not to specialize templates. Templates are among the most powerful features of c but they are too often neglected misunderstood and misused. Templates function templates function templates are special functions that can operate with generic typesthis allows us to create a function template whose functionality can be adapted to more than one type or class without repeating the entire code for each type.
C s i p l s p l s see plus plus is a general purpose programming languageit has imperative object oriented and generic programming features while also providing facilities for low level memory manipulation. Templates are a feature of the c programming language that allows functions and classes to operate with generic typesthis allows a function or class to work on many different data types without being rewritten for each one. A tutorial and handbook.
Classes ii overloading operators classes essentially define new types to be used in c code. This article appeared in cc users journal 197 july 2001. Why not specialize function templates.
The complete guide provides software architects and engineers with a clear understanding of why when and how to use templates to build and maintain cleaner faster and smarter software more efficiently. A template is a blueprint or formula for creating a generic class or a function. Templates are powerful features of c which allows you to write generic programs.
Templates whats the idea behind templates. Quote from the c standard library. A template is a cookie cutter that specifies how to cut cookies that all look pretty much the same although the cookies can be made of various kinds of dough theyll all have the same basic shape.
While the title of this article is a question it could also be made into a statement. The only portable way of using templates at the moment is to implement them in header files by using inline functions. But they are the most convenient portable solution.
In simple terms you can create a single function or a class to work with different data types using templates. Templates are the foundation of generic programming which involves writing code in a way that is independent of any particular type.