C++17: Inline Variables

Before C++17, if your class had any non-const static data members, you had to allocate memory for them. For example, suppose you have the following class definition:

class MyClass
    static int s_anInt;
    static std::string s_aString;

Then your source file should contain the following:

int MyClass::s_anInt = 42;
std::string MyClass::s_aString = "Hello World!";

This is annoying.
C++17 now supports inline variables which allow you to write the MyClass definition as follows:

class MyClass
    static inline int s_anInt = 42;
    static inline std::string s_aString = "Hello World!";

This feature makes it easier to write header only classes that contain non-const static data members.

At the time of this writing, Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 does not yet support inline variables.


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