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.


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.


Instantiation. That's it..


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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