Template Specialization

What is the difference between full and partial template specialization?

Can you explain the difference between full and partial template specialization in C++? When would you use each one?

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Full template specialization and partial template specialization are two ways to create specialized versions of a template, but they differ in how they specify the template arguments.

Full Specialization:

  • Full specialization specifies values for all template parameters.
  • It creates a completely new implementation for a specific set of template arguments.
  • The template parameter list in the specialization is empty <>.
template <typename T>
class MyClass {/* ... */ };

// Full specialization for T = int
template <>
class MyClass<int> {/* ... */ };

Partial Specialization:

  • Partial specialization specifies values for only a subset of template parameters.
  • It creates a new implementation for a specific pattern of template arguments.
  • The template parameter list in the specialization contains the remaining unspecified parameters.
template <typename T, typename U>
class MyClass {/* ... */ };

// Partial specialization for U = int
template <typename T>
class MyClass<T, int> {/* ... */ };

Use full specialization when you need to provide a completely different implementation for a specific type or set of types. Use partial specialization when you want to specialize a template based on a pattern of template arguments while still allowing some arguments to vary.

Partial specialization is particularly useful when you have multiple template parameters and want to specialize based on a subset of them. It allows you to create more targeted specializations without having to specify all the arguments.

Answers to questions are automatically generated and may not have been reviewed.

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