I am not able to find the right technical term to mention child or instance of a template.
What's the right one, child or instance or something else I am not aware of? Sorry for my unclear original question.
Its not related to any language. The Template I am talking about is a business concept in my application. Say for example, I have a "chair" template. I would set a few property values to it to create it's usable instances. I need this for naming and documentation stuff.
Shortlisted 3 terms: Instance, Definition, Child. Whats suits better?

  • 3
    Is it possible to clarify your question a bit more please? For example, what language are you using? Could you give an example of a related template?
    – NoChance
    Feb 20, 2012 at 3:24
  • 1
    Is this in C++?
    – James P.
    Feb 20, 2012 at 3:32

6 Answers 6


a definition?

You can explicitly tell the compiler when it should generate a definition from a template. This is called explicit instantiation.

but I think an 'instantiation' is more usual terminology, so 'instance' is just as good for templates too.


According to the book C++ Templates - The Complete Guide (chapter "Termonology"), it is called "specialization". The process of creating a specialization is called instantiation.


Instantiation. That's it..


In C++, the instantiation of template is done like vector<int> testVector; in this case testVector is just like any other ordinary object.

In many other languages, (Not C++ to my knowledge) there is a concept called metaclass who's instances are classes.


It's hard to understand what template means in this context but in one conceptual interpretation of the word an instance of a template could be considered a prototype, or perhaps archetype, blueprint, definition


I'd use "view" to describe an instance of a template.

  • Maybe am example would help of how to use "view" would make this a better answer...
    – Jay Elston
    Feb 20, 2012 at 15:58
  • If the Op meant ASP.NET, this would be a good answer. Feb 20, 2012 at 16:53

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