Re: pointer vs reference

"Jim Langston" <>
Fri, 4 Apr 2008 17:33:01 -0700
Eric Kaplan wrote:

more specific - for passing parameter, what's different between & OR *

pointer vs reference ??

Request(string const& start, string const& end);
Request(string const* start, string const* end);

A reference is an alias. It is similar to a pointer but with some changes.
The most obvious is using a reference you don't have to dereference the
variable to get the value.

void Foo( int* Bax )
   // To get the value of the integer we have to derefernce the pointer.
   std::cout << *Bax << "\n";

void Bar( int& Bax )
  // The get the value of the integer we just use the variable
   std::cout << Bax << "\n";

There are other differences, such that a refernce must be initialized. It
can not have an unitialized value. Nor can a reference be reseated. Once a
reference is created it points to something, and will continue to point to
that thing until it is destroyed/goes out of scope.

int A = 10;
int B = 20;
int* Foo = &A;
int& Bar = A;

Foo = &B; // legal. Foo now points to B.
Bar = B; // legal, but te value of A changed, not where Bar points.

For any futher information I would suggest you read a book or search the

Jim Langston

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