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Good analysis. I would amend: templates usually improve code efficiency, because the compiler can see through abstractions and generate (larger but) much faster code.

I think that's often true (one common example is stl sort versus C stdlib's qsort(), which is often a big win because of inlining a datatype-specific comparison operator), but I think there are quite a few cases where the object code bloat you get from multiplying the code by the number of types it's instantiated for (vs. using a polymorphic/generic function) kills your cache more than enough make up for any optimization win.

Sure; but it certainly depends upon the frequency of use of each instance etc. But in general, shorter code is a good choice of optimization

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