What is the difference between 'typedef' and 'using' in C++11?



1 Answers

The using syntax has an advantage when used within templates. If you need the type abstraction, but also need to keep template parameter to be possible to be specified in future. You should write something like this.

template <typename T> struct whatever {};

template <typename T> struct rebind
{
  typedef whatever<T> type; // to make it possible to substitue the whatever in future.
};

rebind<int>::type variable;

template <typename U> struct bar { typename rebind<U>::type _var_member; }

But using syntax simplifies this use case.

template <typename T> using my_type = whatever<T>;

my_type<int> variable;
template <typename U> struct baz { my_type<U> _var_member; }
Question

I know that in C++11 we can now use using to write type alias, like typedefs:

typedef int MyInt;

Is, from what I understand, equivalent to:

using MyInt = int;

And that new syntax emerged from the effort to have a way to express "template typedef":

template< class T > using MyType = AnotherType< T, MyAllocatorType >;

But, with the first two non-template examples, are there any other subtle differences in the standard? For example, typedefs do aliasing in a "weak" way. That is it does not create a new type but only a new name (conversions are implicit between those names).

Is it the same with using or does it generate a new type? Are there any differences?




They are essentially the same but using provides alias templates which is quite useful. One good example I could find is as follows:

namespace std {
 template<typename T> using add_const_t = typename add_const<T>::type;
}

So, we can use std::add_const_t<T> instead of typename std::add_const<T>::type




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