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C++ Common Knowledge: Essential Intermediate Programming by Stephen C. Dewhurst

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Item 59. SFINAE

In attempting to use function template argument deduction to select among a number of overloaded function templates and nontemplate functions, the compiler may attempt a specialization that fails on one or more of them.

template <typename T> void f( T );template <typename T> void f( T * );//...f( 1024 ); // instantiates first f

Even though substitution of the nonzero integer for T * in the second f function template would have been incorrect, the attempted substitution does not give rise to an error provided that a correct substitution is found. In this case, the first f is instantiated, and there is no error. Thus, we have the “substitution failure is not an error” concept, dubbed SFINAE by Vandevoorde and Josuttis.

SFINAE ...

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