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Explain reference variable and how it is different from pointer variable?

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2009-09-07 22:05:41
2009-09-07 22:05:41

In JAVA, all variables are reference variables, and there are no pointer variables. Even though the platform may implement them as pointers, they are not available as such. In C, no variables are reference variables. They are a C++ enhancement. In C++ a reference variable is syntactically the same as a pointer variable, except that the use of the indirection operator (*) is implicit. You do declare reference variables slightly differently than pointer variables but, once you do so, they can be treated as non-pointer variables. Reference variables also cannot be redefined once they have been initialized to point to some object. They are const. Structurally, there is no difference between a pointer variable and a reference variable. They are both still pointers. The compiler just makes it easier to treat reference variables and non-pointer variables the same way.

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