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Learn Non-Type Parameters For Templates In C++

Learn Non Type Parameters For Templates In C++

One of the great features of modern C++ is templates. A template is a simple and very powerful statement in C++ that defines the operations of a class or function. Templates are parameterized features of C++. In this article, we will explain non-type parameters for the template in C++ which can be used by a professional C++ IDE that supports C++14, C++17, and over compilers. 

First of all, let’s try to explain what templates are in C++.

What is a template in C++?

template is a very powerful statement in C++ that simply defines the operations of a class, a function, an alias, or a variable and let the user may apply the same template on different types in those template operations. Templates are like macros in C++ except the compiler checks the types used before the template is expanded. In the compilation mechanism of a template in C++, the source code contains only a template for a function or class, but when it is compiled, the same template can be used on multiple data types.

Here is the syntax of a template:

In this article we will explain how to use non-type template parameters in C++.

What are non-type parameters for templates in C++?

A template has at least one template parameter.

Parameters of a template can be:

  • a type template parameter,
  • a non-type template parameter,
  • a template template parameter (a template passed as a parameter to the template).

A non-type template parameter (aka non-type template argument) is provided within a template parameters list and it is an expression whose value can be determined at compile time. A non-type template parameter can be a constant expression, address of function or object with external linkage, or address of static class member. Generally, non-type template parameters are used to specify the sizes of class members or to initialize a class.

A non-type parameter can be one of the following types,

  • An integral type
  • An enumeration type
  • lvalue reference type
  • A pointer type or reference to a class object
  • A pointer or reference to a function
  • A pointer or reference to a class member function
  • std::nullptr_t
  • A floating point type (since C++20)

Is there an example of non-type parameters for templates in C++?

Here is a simple a non-type template parameter example,

here is a integral type for a non-type parameter that used to resize a std::array in C++ so that it has n elements.

and we can use this template as below,

Is there a full example of non-type parameters for templates in C++?

Here a is a full C++ example of a non-type template parameter.

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 35+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and some other operating systems. He graduated and received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University. He is the founder and CEO of ESENJA LLC Company. His interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Artificial Intelligence, 2D & 3D Designs, and high-end innovations.
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