9 Declarations [dcl.dcl]

9.8 Namespaces [basic.namespace]

9.8.1 General [basic.namespace.general]

A namespace is an optionally-named declarative region.
The name of a namespace can be used to access entities declared in that namespace; that is, the members of the namespace.
Unlike other declarative regions, the definition of a namespace can be split over several parts of one or more translation units.
[Note 1:
A namespace name with external linkage is exported if any of its namespace-definitions is exported, or if it contains any export-declarations ([module.interface]).
A namespace is never attached to a module, and never has module linkage even if it is not exported.
— end note]
[Example 1: export module M; namespace N1 {} // N1 is not exported export namespace N2 {} // N2 is exported namespace N3 { export int n; } // N3 is exported — end example]
The outermost declarative region of a translation unit is a namespace; see [basic.scope.namespace].

9.8.2 Namespace definition [namespace.def] General [namespace.def.general]

Every namespace-definition shall appear at namespace scope ([basic.scope.namespace]).
In a named-namespace-definition, the identifier is the name of the namespace.
If the identifier, when looked up, refers to a namespace-name (but not a namespace-alias) that was introduced in the namespace in which the named-namespace-definition appears or that was introduced in a member of the inline namespace set of that namespace, the namespace-definition extends the previously-declared namespace.
Otherwise, the identifier is introduced as a namespace-name into the declarative region in which the named-namespace-definition appears.
Because a namespace-definition contains declarations in its namespace-body and a namespace-definition is itself a declaration, it follows that namespace-definitions can be nested.
[Example 1: namespace Outer { int i; namespace Inner { void f() { i++; } // Outer​::​i int i; void g() { i++; } // Inner​::​i } } — end example]
The enclosing namespaces of a declaration are those namespaces in which the declaration lexically appears, except for a redeclaration of a namespace member outside its original namespace (e.g., a definition as specified in [namespace.memdef]).
Such a redeclaration has the same enclosing namespaces as the original declaration.
[Example 2: namespace Q { namespace V { void f(); // enclosing namespaces are the global namespace, Q, and Q​::​V class C { void m(); }; } void V::f() { // enclosing namespaces are the global namespace, Q, and Q​::​V extern void h(); // ... so this declares Q​::​V​::​h } void V::C::m() { // enclosing namespaces are the global namespace, Q, and Q​::​V } } — end example]
If the optional initial inline keyword appears in a namespace-definition for a particular namespace, that namespace is declared to be an inline namespace.
The inline keyword may be used on a namespace-definition that extends a namespace only if it was previously used on the namespace-definition that initially declared the namespace-name for that namespace.
The optional attribute-specifier-seq in a named-namespace-definition appertains to the namespace being defined or extended.
Members of an inline namespace can be used in most respects as though they were members of the enclosing namespace.
Specifically, the inline namespace and its enclosing namespace are both added to the set of associated namespaces used in argument-dependent lookup whenever one of them is, and a using-directive ([namespace.udir]) that names the inline namespace is implicitly inserted into the enclosing namespace as for an unnamed namespace.
Furthermore, each member of the inline namespace can subsequently be partially specialized, explicitly instantiated, or explicitly specialized as though it were a member of the enclosing namespace.
Finally, looking up a name in the enclosing namespace via explicit qualification ([namespace.qual]) will include members of the inline namespace brought in by the using-directive even if there are declarations of that name in the enclosing namespace.
These properties are transitive: if a namespace N contains an inline namespace M, which in turn contains an inline namespace O, then the members of O can be used as though they were members of M or N.
The inline namespace set of N is the transitive closure of all inline namespaces in N.
The enclosing namespace set of O is the set of namespaces consisting of the innermost non-inline namespace enclosing an inline namespace O, together with any intervening inline namespaces.
A nested-namespace-definition with an enclosing-namespace-specifier E, identifier I and namespace-body B is equivalent to namespace E { inline namespace I { B } } where the optional inline is present if and only if the identifier I is preceded by inline.
[Example 3: namespace A::inline B::C { int i; }
The above has the same effect as: namespace A { inline namespace B { namespace C { int i; } } }
— end example] Unnamed namespaces [namespace.unnamed]

An unnamed-namespace-definition behaves as if it were replaced by
inline namespace unique { /* empty body */ }
using namespace unique ;
namespace unique { namespace-body }
where inline appears if and only if it appears in the unnamed-namespace-definition and all occurrences of unique in a translation unit are replaced by the same identifier, and this identifier differs from all other identifiers in the translation unit.
The optional attribute-specifier-seq in the unnamed-namespace-definition appertains to unique.
[Example 1: namespace { int i; } // unique​::​i void f() { i++; } // unique​::​i++ namespace A { namespace { int i; // A​::​unique​::​i int j; // A​::​unique​::​j } void g() { i++; } // A​::​unique​::​i++ } using namespace A; void h() { i++; // error: unique​::​i or A​::​unique​::​i A::i++; // A​::​unique​::​i j++; // A​::​unique​::​j } — end example] Namespace member definitions [namespace.memdef]

A declaration in a namespace N (excluding declarations in nested scopes) whose declarator-id is an unqualified-id ([dcl.meaning]), whose class-head-name ([class.pre]) or enum-head-name ([dcl.enum]) is an identifier, or whose elaborated-type-specifier is of the form class-key attribute-specifier-seq identifier ([dcl.type.elab]), or that is an opaque-enum-declaration, declares (or redeclares) its unqualified-id or identifier as a member of N.
[Note 1:
An explicit instantiation ([temp.explicit]) or explicit specialization ([temp.expl.spec]) of a template does not introduce a name and thus can be declared using an unqualified-id in a member of the enclosing namespace set, if the primary template is declared in an inline namespace.
— end note]
[Example 1: namespace X { void f() { /* ... */ } // OK: introduces X​::​f() namespace M { void g(); // OK: introduces X​::​M​::​g() } using M::g; void g(); // error: conflicts with X​::​M​::​g() } — end example]
Members of a named namespace can also be defined outside that namespace by explicit qualification ([namespace.qual]) of the name being defined, provided that the entity being defined was already declared in the namespace and the definition appears after the point of declaration in a namespace that encloses the declaration's namespace.
[Example 2: namespace Q { namespace V { void f(); } void V::f() { /* ... */ } // OK void V::g() { /* ... */ } // error: g() is not yet a member of V namespace V { void g(); } } namespace R { void Q::V::g() { /* ... */ } // error: R doesn't enclose Q } — end example]
If a friend declaration in a non-local class first declares a class, function, class template or function template99 the friend is a member of the innermost enclosing namespace.
The friend declaration does not by itself make the name visible to unqualified lookup or qualified lookup.
[Note 2:
The name of the friend will be visible in its namespace if a matching declaration is provided at namespace scope (either before or after the class definition granting friendship).
— end note]
If a friend function or function template is called, its name may be found by the name lookup that considers functions from namespaces and classes associated with the types of the function arguments ([basic.lookup.argdep]).
If the name in a friend declaration is neither qualified nor a template-id and the declaration is a function or an elaborated-type-specifier, the lookup to determine whether the entity has been previously declared shall not consider any scopes outside the innermost enclosing namespace.
[Note 3:
The other forms of friend declarations cannot declare a new member of the innermost enclosing namespace and thus follow the usual lookup rules.
— end note]
[Example 3: // Assume f and g have not yet been declared. void h(int); template <class T> void f2(T); namespace A { class X { friend void f(X); // A​::​f(X) is a friend class Y { friend void g(); // A​::​g is a friend friend void h(int); // A​::​h is a friend // ​::​h not considered friend void f2<>(int); // ​::​f2<>(int) is a friend }; }; // A​::​f, A​::​g and A​::​h are not visible here X x; void g() { f(x); } // definition of A​::​g void f(X) { /* ... */ } // definition of A​::​f void h(int) { /* ... */ } // definition of A​::​h // A​::​f, A​::​g and A​::​h are visible here and known to be friends } using A::x; void h() { A::f(x); A::X::f(x); // error: f is not a member of A​::​X A::X::Y::g(); // error: g is not a member of A​::​X​::​Y } — end example]
this implies that the name of the class or function is unqualified.

9.8.3 Namespace alias [namespace.alias]

The identifier in a namespace-alias-definition is a synonym for the name of the namespace denoted by the qualified-namespace-specifier and becomes a namespace-alias.
[Note 1:
When looking up a namespace-name in a namespace-alias-definition, only namespace names are considered, see [basic.lookup.udir].
— end note]
In a declarative region, a namespace-alias-definition can be used to redefine a namespace-alias declared in that declarative region to refer only to the namespace to which it already refers.
[Example 1:
The following declarations are well-formed: namespace Company_with_very_long_name { /* ... */ } namespace CWVLN = Company_with_very_long_name; namespace CWVLN = Company_with_very_long_name; // OK: duplicate namespace CWVLN = CWVLN;
— end example]

9.8.4 Using namespace directive [namespace.udir]

A using-directive shall not appear in class scope, but may appear in namespace scope or in block scope.
[Note 1:
When looking up a namespace-name in a using-directive, only namespace names are considered, see [basic.lookup.udir].
— end note]
The optional attribute-specifier-seq appertains to the using-directive.
A using-directive specifies that the names in the nominated namespace can be used in the scope in which the using-directive appears after the using-directive.
During unqualified name lookup ([basic.lookup.unqual]), the names appear as if they were declared in the nearest enclosing namespace which contains both the using-directive and the nominated namespace.
[Note 2:
In this context, “contains” means “contains directly or indirectly”.
— end note]
A using-directive does not add any members to the declarative region in which it appears.
[Example 1: namespace A { int i; namespace B { namespace C { int i; } using namespace A::B::C; void f1() { i = 5; // OK, C​::​i visible in B and hides A​::​i } } namespace D { using namespace B; using namespace C; void f2() { i = 5; // ambiguous, B​::​C​::​i or A​::​i? } } void f3() { i = 5; // uses A​::​i } } void f4() { i = 5; // error: neither i is visible } — end example]
For unqualified lookup ([basic.lookup.unqual]), the using-directive is transitive: if a scope contains a using-directive that nominates a second namespace that itself contains using-directives, the effect is as if the using-directives from the second namespace also appeared in the first.
[Note 3:
For qualified lookup, see [namespace.qual].
— end note]
[Example 2: namespace M { int i; } namespace N { int i; using namespace M; } void f() { using namespace N; i = 7; // error: both M​::​i and N​::​i are visible }
For another example, namespace A { int i; } namespace B { int i; int j; namespace C { namespace D { using namespace A; int j; int k; int a = i; // B​::​i hides A​::​i } using namespace D; int k = 89; // no problem yet int l = k; // ambiguous: C​::​k or D​::​k int m = i; // B​::​i hides A​::​i int n = j; // D​::​j hides B​::​j } }
— end example]
If a namespace is extended ([namespace.def]) after a using-directive for that namespace is given, the additional members of the extended namespace and the members of namespaces nominated by using-directives in the extending namespace-definition can be used after the extending namespace-definition.
[Note 4:
If name lookup finds a declaration for a name in two different namespaces, and the declarations do not declare the same entity and do not declare functions or function templates, the use of the name is ill-formed ([basic.lookup]).
In particular, the name of a variable, function or enumerator does not hide the name of a class or enumeration declared in a different namespace.
For example, namespace A { class X { }; extern "C" int g(); extern "C++" int h(); } namespace B { void X(int); extern "C" int g(); extern "C++" int h(int); } using namespace A; using namespace B; void f() { X(1); // error: name X found in two namespaces g(); // OK: name g refers to the same entity h(); // OK: overload resolution selects A​::​h }
— end note]
During overload resolution, all functions from the transitive search are considered for argument matching.
The set of declarations found by the transitive search is unordered.
[Note 5:
In particular, the order in which namespaces were considered and the relationships among the namespaces implied by the using-directives do not cause preference to be given to any of the declarations found by the search.
— end note]
An ambiguity exists if the best match finds two functions with the same signature, even if one is in a namespace reachable through using-directives in the namespace of the other.100
[Example 3: namespace D { int d1; void f(char); } using namespace D; int d1; // OK: no conflict with D​::​d1 namespace E { int e; void f(int); } namespace D { // namespace extension int d2; using namespace E; void f(int); } void f() { d1++; // error: ambiguous ​::​d1 or D​::​d1? ::d1++; // OK D::d1++; // OK d2++; // OK: D​::​d2 e++; // OK: E​::​e f(1); // error: ambiguous: D​::​f(int) or E​::​f(int)? f('a'); // OK: D​::​f(char) } — end example]
During name lookup in a class hierarchy, some ambiguities can be resolved by considering whether one member hides the other along some paths ([class.member.lookup]).
There is no such disambiguation when considering the set of names found as a result of following using-directives.