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Variant is a replacement for raw union use. It is type-safe and knows what type it is, and it carefully constructs and destroys the objects within it when it should.

It is almost never empty: only in corner cases where replacing its content throws and it cannot back out safely does it end up being in an empty state.

It behaves somewhat like a std::tuple, and somewhat like an std::optional.

Using std::get and std::get_if is usually a bad idea. The right answer is usually std::visit, which lets you deal with every possibility right there. if constexpr can be used within the visit if you need to branch your behavior, rather than doing a sequence of runtime checks that duplicate what visit will do more efficiently.

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