Legacy Documentation: Version 4.6.2
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Generic Functions

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Some functions in the script reference (for example, the various GetComponent functions) are listed with a variant that has a letter T or a type name in angle brackets after the function name:-

function FuncName.<T>(): T;

These are known as generic functions. The significance they have for scripting is that you get to specify the types of parameters and/or the return type when you call the function. In JavaScript, this can be used to get around the limitations of dynamic typing:-

// The type is correctly inferred since it is defined in the function call.
var obj = GetComponent.<Rigidbody>();

In C#, it can save a lot of keystrokes and casts:-

Rigidbody rb = go.GetComponent<Rigidbody>();

// ...as compared with:-

Rigidbody rb = (Rigidbody) go.GetComponent(typeof(Rigidbody));

Any function that has a generic variant listed on its script reference page will allow this special calling syntax.

Platform Dependent Compilation
Script Serialization