Unnamed Namespaces in C++

I have touch upon the many uses of the keyword static in C when I discovered yet another usage of the static keyword in C99 in my post about static array indices in parameter declarations. That usage is not legal in C++1, and C++ has actually removed the need to use static for one use case: to specify internal linkage.

From the C++11 standard N3242 (draft) §3.5.4:

An unnamed namespace or a namespace declared directly or indirectly within an unnamed namespace has internal linkage. All other namespaces have external linkage.

In other words, this code

namespace {
    int foo() { return 0xf00; }
}

is equivalent to

static int foo() { return 0xf00; }

If the C++ Standards Committee ever actually removes this usage 2, it would be a rare example of actually decreasing the overloading of static.


  1. To quote clang++: error: static array size is a C99 feature, not permitted in C++

  2. Don’t hold your breath.

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