pointer to class confusion?

Please consider following class:

class SomeTask
{
 
  public:
     SomeTask();
    ~SomeTask();
    void initialize();
     
  private:  
    InterfaceTask *_serviceInterface;
    Protocol * Protocol;
     
    static SomeTask *_instance;  
 
};

Then consider the following:

SomeTask * SomeTask::_instance = NULL;


Please explain "SomeTask::_instance" pointer.  Is private member _instance getting accessed outside the class?  What is this ::  notation mean?
LVL 1
naseeamAsked:
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evilrixConnect With a Mentor Senior Software Engineer (Avast)Commented:
That's the correct notation to initialise a static data member. There is no other way to do it. The fact is is private makes no difference. Once it's initialised it can only be accessed from class members.
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naseeamAuthor Commented:
Very fast and accurate response.
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