O'Reilly logo

C++ Primer Plus, Fourth Edition by Stephen Prata

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Reference Variables

C++ adds a new compound type to the language—the reference variable. A reference is a name that acts as an alias, or alternative name, for a previously defined variable. For example, if you make twain a reference to the clemens variable, you can use twain and clemens interchangeably to represent that variable. Of what use is such an alias? Is it to help people who are embarrassed by their choice of variable names? Maybe, but the main use for a reference is as a formal argument to a function. By using a reference as an argument, the function works with the original data instead of with a copy. References provide a convenient alternative to pointers for processing large structures with a function, and they are essential for ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required