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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    “redefinition of 'string' as different kind of symbol”

    I declared a function which returns std::string in read_qacct.h

    #include <string>
    std::string read_qacct(std::string login, int days);
    Then I include read_qacct.h in another cpp file called db2class.cpp

    #include "read_qacct.h"
    When I compile db2class though, the first error is

    In file included from db2class.cpp:8:
    ./read_qacct.h:2:6: error: redefinition of 'string' as different kind of symbol
    std::string read_qacct(std::string login, int days);
    /usr/include/c++/4.2.1/bits/stringfwd.h:59:33: note: previous definition is here
      typedef basic_string<char>    string;
    I had read_qacct.h included the same way in read_qacct.cpp where the function read_qacct was defined. I successfully compiled read_qacct.cpp. How come I got this weird error for db2class.cpp?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    Re: “redefinition of 'string' as different kind of symbol”

    Use a unique include guard in every .h file like say this in read_qacct.h,

    #ifndef READ_QACCT_ONCE 
    #define READ_QACCT_ONCE
       #include <string>
       std::string read_qacct(std::string login, int days);

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Re: “redefinition of 'string' as different kind of symbol”

    razzle's suggestion is a general good practice recommendation, but I don't think that it will solve your problem here since an inclusion guard ensures that multiple inclusions of a header in a translation unit (e.g., your source file includes the same header twice, or includes two different headers that themselves include a particular header) will boil down to just one inclusion of that header, thus avoiding say, the error of a redefinition of a class. In this case it looks like you have two translation units (corresponding to the source files db2class.cpp and read_qacct.cpp) in which read_qacct.h is included once each, so I reason that the introduction of inclusion guards will make no difference, though you should put them in anyway.

    That said, I cannot think of what else might cause this problem given what you've shown here. I suggest that you post the code for the smallest and simplest program that you expect should compile but which demonstrates this error.
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