C++ – Forward declare a standard container

c++c++-standard-libraryheader

Is it possible to forward declare an standard container in a header file? For example, take the following code:

#include <vector>

class Foo
{
private:
    std::vector<int> container_;
    ...
};

I want to be able to do something like this:

namespace std
{
    template <typename T> class vector;
}

class Foo
{
private:
    std::vector<int> container_;
    ...
};

Can this be done?

Best Solution

Declaring vector in the std namespace is undefined behavior. So, your code might work, but it also might not, and the compiler is under no obligation to tell you when your attempt won't work. That's a gamble, and I don't know that avoiding the inclusion of a standard C++ header is worth that.

See the following comp.std.c++.moderated discussion:

forward declaring std::vector. Works, but is it legal and standard compliant?

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