cpp.info: Obsolete once-only headers
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Obsolete once-only headers
GNU CPP supports two more ways of indicating that a header file
should be read only once. Neither one is as portable as a wrapper
`#ifndef', and we recommend you do not use them in new programs.
In the Objective-C language, there is a variant of `#include' called
`#import' which includes a file, but does so at most once. If you use
`#import' instead of `#include', then you don't need the conditionals
inside the header file to prevent multiple inclusion of the contents.
GCC permits the use of `#import' in C and C++ as well as Objective-C.
However, it is not in standard C or C++ and should therefore not be
used by portable programs.
`#import' is not a well designed feature. It requires the users of
a header file to know that it should only be included once. It is much
better for the header file's implementor to write the file so that users
don't need to know this. Using a wrapper `#ifndef' accomplishes this
In the present implementation, a single use of `#import' will
prevent the file from ever being read again, by either `#import' or
`#include'. You should not rely on this; do not use both `#import' and
`#include' to refer to the same header file.
Another way to prevent a header file from being included more than
once is with the `#pragma once' directive. If `#pragma once' is seen
when scanning a header file, that file will never be read again, no
`#pragma once' does not have the problems that `#import' does, but
it is not recognized by all preprocessors, so you cannot rely on it in
a portable program.
Created Mon Nov 8 17:42:11 2004 on tillpc with info_to_html version 0.9.6.