Creating a Reference Variable

You might recall that C and C++ use the & symbol to indicate the address of a variable. C++ assigns an additional meaning to the & symbol and presses it into service for declaring references. For example, to make rodents an alternative name for the variable rats, you could do the following:

int rats;int & rodents = rats;    // makes rodents an alias for rats

In this context, & is not the address operator. Instead, it serves as part of the type identifier. Just as char * in a declaration means pointer-to-char, int & means reference-to-int. The reference declaration allows you to use rats and rodents interchangeably; both refer to the same value and the same memory location. Listing 8.2 illustrates the truth of this ...

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