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Storage Class


The latest version of this topic can be found at Storage Class.

The storage-class specifier in a function definition gives the function either extern or static storage class.

declaration-specifiers optattribute-seq optdeclarator declaration-list optcompound-statement

/* attribute-seq is Microsoft Specific */

storage-class-specifier declaration-specifiers opt

type-specifier declaration-specifiers opt

type-qualifier declaration-specifiers opt

storage-class-specifier: /* For function definitions */


If a function definition does not include a storage-class-specifier, the storage class defaults to extern. You can explicitly declare a function as extern, but it is not required.

If the declaration of a function contains the storage-class-specifier extern, the identifier has the same linkage as any visible declaration of the identifier with file scope. If there is no visible declaration with file scope, the identifier has external linkage. If an identifier has file scope and no storage-class-specifier, the identifier has external linkage. External linkage means that each instance of the identifier denotes the same object or function. See Lifetime, Scope, Visibility, and Linkage for more information about linkage and file scope.

Block-scope function declarations with a storage-class specifier other than extern generate errors.

A function with static storage class is visible only in the source file in which it is defined. All other functions, whether they are given extern storage class explicitly or implicitly, are visible throughout all source files in the program. If static storage class is desired, it must be declared on the first occurrence of a declaration (if any) of the function, and on the definition of the function.

Microsoft Specific

When the Microsoft extensions are enabled, a function originally declared without a storage class (or with extern storage class) is given static storage class if the function definition is in the same source file and if the definition explicitly specifies static storage class.

When compiling with the /Ze compiler option, functions declared within a block using the extern keyword have global visibility. This is not true when compiling with /Za. This feature should not be relied upon if portability of source code is a consideration.

END Microsoft Specific

C Function Definitions