Concept (generic programming)

In generic programming, a concept is a description of supported operations on a type, including syntax and semantics. In this way, concepts are related to abstract base classes but concepts do not require a subtype relationship. The term was in use as early as 1998.

For example, if a type I satisfies the Trivial Iterator concept in C++, and i is of type I, the following are valid expressions with corresponding semantics:

  • I i default construction.
  • *i must be convertible to some type T.
  • i->m is valid if (*i).m is.

Concepts have been accepted into the C++ standard for the next revision.

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