5.2. Nickle Namespaces

Namespaces collect related variable and function names and allow control over visibility. A number of Nickle builtins are gathered into builtin namespaces that may be used. The following builtin namespaces have sections in this tutorial:

An example namespace might be declared like this:

namespace Example {

	int blah = 1;
	public int a = 0;

	int function bar(int a) {
	protected int function foo(int a) {


The keyword namespace is followed by the name of the namespace and a list of statements that declare names in the namespace. The publication of those declarations, e.g. public or protected defines how visible they will be outside the namespace. The namespace itself may be preceeded by publication information, but this has no bearing on the names within the namespace; it defines the visibility of the name of the namespace. If the example above had been declared

protected namespace Example {

Then the names within Example would have the same visibility as always, but Example itself would be protected in whatever namespace it belongs to. In this case, it belongs to the top-level namespace, but namespaces can be nested within each other, which makes the visibility of their own names important.

5.2.1. Extend

extend namespace name { statement-list }

Names may be added to a namespace after it is initially defined with the extend command. The namespace name is reopened and the new statement-list is added to the previous ones. For example,

extend namespace Example {
	string[*] greeting = [2]{ "hello", "world" };

Adds greeting to the names already defined in Example.

5.2.2. Peering inside

import namespace

The :: operator refers to a name, which is in namespace, analogously to a structure dereference. If name also refers to a namespace, its names too are visible this way. Either protected or public names are visible in this way.

An import statement brings all the public names in namespace into scope, overshadowing conflicting names. Thereafter, those names may be used normally.

A variable is declared with one of three visibilities that defines how it is visible outside its namespace:

Thus, in our example namespace Example: