FAQ Pointer & reference (C++)

This is a discussion on FAQ Pointer & reference (C++) within the FAQ Board forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; What is the difference between using a pointer and using a reference? e.g.: int K; int*p=&k ; &ref=k; (both *p=20; ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Oct 2001
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    Pointer & reference

    What is the difference between using a pointer and using a reference?
    e.g.:

    int K;
    int*p=&k ;
    &ref=k;
    (both *p=20; and ref=20; will assign the value 20 into the variable k)

    thanks for ur time and help.
    ~ayesha~

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    The "Cliff Notes" version of your question is a reference is a pointer but with less versatility. The reference is simpler and easier to use. A reference variable cannot be altered to refer to any variable except the one to which it was initialized.
    A reference passed to another function is preferred if possible because while the receiving function has a copy of the value in the address passed, it cannot change the value in the original function. Thus protecting the original value.
    References cannot be used for array notation.
    rc7j

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