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Parameterized class vs. factory replacement

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If I have a component that uses pack()/compare()/etc on a base data type and I expect that each user will extend that base type with some customized implementation of pack/compare, I can either make my component have a parameterized data type and have the users use their type as the parameter or I can have my component use the base data type and have users factory replace that type with their own. Any opinions on which way to go?

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