Thread: FAQ Pointer & reference (C++)

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2001

    Pointer & reference

    What is the difference between using a pointer and using a reference?

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

    thanks for ur time and help.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    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.

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