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Chapter ‎18   Unsafe code

9. Namespaces

C# programs are organized using namespaces. Namespaces are used both as an “internal” organization system for a program, and as an “external” organization system—a way of presenting program elements that are exposed to other programs.

Using directives (§‎9.3) are provided to facilitate the use of namespaces.

9.1 Compilation units

A compilation-unit defines the overall structure of a source file. A compilation unit consists of zero or more using-directives followed by zero or more global-attributes followed by zero or more namespace-member-declarations.

compilation-unit: using-directivesopt  global-attributesopt    namespace-member-declarationsopt

A C# program consists of one or more compilation units, each contained in a separate source file. When a C# program is compiled, all of the compilation units are processed together. Thus, compilation units can depend on each other, possibly in a circular fashion.

The using-directives of a compilation unit affect the global-attributes and namespace-member-declarations of that compilation unit, but have no effect on other compilation units.

The global-attributes (§‎17) of a compilation unit permit the specification of attributes for the target assembly and module. Assemblies and modules act as physical containers for types. An assembly may consist of several physically separate modules.

The namespace-member-declarations of each compilation unit of a program contribute members to a single declaration space called the global namespace. For example:

File A.cs:

class A {}

File B.cs:

class B {}

The two compilation units contribute to the single global namespace, in this case declaring two classes with the fully qualified names A and B. Because the two compilation units contribute to the same declaration space, it would have been an error if each contained a declaration of a member with the same name.

9.2 Namespace declarations

A namespace-declaration consists of the keyword namespace, followed by a namespace name and body, optionally followed by a semicolon.

namespace-declaration: namespace   qualified-identifier   namespace-body   ;opt

qualified-identifier: identifier qualified-identifier   .   identifier

Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1999-2003. All Rights Reserved.188

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