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Discussion on: Why use pointers at all.

pentacular profile image
pentacular

And I talked about the Java spec, which defines "references values" (abbreviated sometimes to references).

These are not references in the sense of pass-by-value, as I've demonstrated many times above.

You might claim that they're references in the sense that anything can be used to refer to something else.

But that won't get you references with the semantics required by pass-by-reference, which means that you can't claim that passing one is pass-by-reference.

Let's just imagine that they were called "oranges" -- would you be claiming that passing an "orange" gave you pass-by-reference?

If not, then it's clear that this is simply due to being confused by a name choice.

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jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips • Edited on

Let's try it.

"reference values (often just oranges)"

"All interactions with objects and array is by oranges, much like pointers in C."

Yep, I'd use it.

"Objects are pass by oranges and if C had them, it too would be pass by oranges."

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pentacular profile image
pentacular

Ok, and does pass-by-orange have pass-by-reference semantics, or does it have pass-by-value semantics? :)

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jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips • Edited on

Have we defined what we are discussing as passed and the definition of reference yet?

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pentacular profile image
pentacular

I've done so several times.

Here is the simplest requirement, again.

When passing by reference, modifying the parameter modifies the argument.

void foo(int &a) {
  a = 2;
}

int main() {
  int i = 1;
  foo(i);
  cout << i << endl;
  // Outputs 2.
}
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jessekphillips profile image
Jesse Phillips

Under that definition, no passing by oranges does not have the same semantics as pass by reference.

This however changes the subject to the parameters of the functions. I have been talking about the object for which the parameter refers. Could we stick with talking about the concept I'm actually trying to get across rather than introducing a introducing a different one.

Since pass by oranges is not a term used in the Java spec, could you describe the pass by oranges semantics using spec terms?