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From: Howard Hinnant (hinnant_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-01-07 14:51:57

Daryle Walker wrote on 1/7/2001 1:15 PM
>Something about that template syntax has been bothering me: is that the
>right way to specialize on an array type? Doesn't each array amount count
>as a separate type (i.e. float[3] != float[8])? In that case, using
>"template <typename Y> class whatever<Y[]>;" is wrong. In fact, wouldn't
>"Y[]" be interpreted as "Y*", like in function arguments, which is
>definitely NOT what we want? The alternative syntax could be:
>template <typename Y, std::size_t N>
>struct auto_ptr_ref<Y[N]>
> //...

I don't believe that introducing the size_t into the type would be the
correct thing to do. Whatever we're calling this beast, its job is to
handle a _dynamically_ sized array. N will not be known until runtime.
Furthermore, that information is not needed (unless perhaps we wanted to
implement array bounds checking).

However, it is a fact that Y[] is an incomplete type (3.9/7). This type
is different from Y[N] for any N. And also different from any pointer
type to Y. Your question raised a concern with me as to whether
incomplete types could be used as template parameters. But 14.3.1/2
confirms that incomplete types can indeed be used as template parameters,
up to the point that incomplete types can be used in non-templated code.


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