Few topics cause more confusion, especially for programmers new to C++, than pointers. Necessary, powerful, and versatile, pointers can also be dangerous and the underlying cause of so many bugs that they are both bane and blessing. Pointers are hard at work behind many of the standard library’s features, and any serious application or library inevitably uses pointers in some fashion. When used with care and caution, pointers will become an indispensable tool in your C++ programmer’s toolkit.

A Programming Problem

Before diving into syntax and semantics, consider the following problem. Real-life C++ projects typically ...

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