Class name does not name a type in C++

The preprocessor inserts the contents of the files A.h and B.h exactly where the include statement occurs (this is really just copy/paste). When the compiler then parses A.cpp, it finds the declaration of class A before it knows about class B. This causes the error you see. There are two ways to solve this:

  1. Include B.h in A.h. It is generally a good idea to include header files in the files where they are needed. If you rely on indirect inclusion though another header, or a special order of includes in the compilation unit (cpp-file), this will only confuse you and others as the project gets bigger.
  2. If you use member variable of type B in class A, the compiler needs to know the exact and complete declaration of B, because it needs to create the memory-layout for A. If, on the other hand, you were using a pointer or reference to B, then a forward declaration would suffice, because the memory the compiler needs to reserve for a pointer or reference is independent of the class definition. This would look like this:class B; // forward declaration class A { public: A(int id); private: int _id; B & _b; }; This is very useful to avoid circular dependencies among headers.

I hope this helps.

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