What are the differences between a pointer variable and a reference variable in C++?

C++Server Side ProgrammingProgramming

References: 

When a variable is declared as reference, it becomes an alternative name for an existing variable.

Syntax: 

Type &newname = existing name;

Initialization: 

Type &pointer;

pointer = variable name;

Pointers: 

Pointers are used to store the address of variable.

Syntax: 

Type *pointer;

Initialization: 

Type *pointer; 

pointer = variable name;

The main differences between references and pointers are -

  • References are used to refer an existing variable in another name whereas pointers are used to store address of variable.
  • References cannot have a null value assigned but pointer can.
  • A reference variable can be referenced by pass by value whereas a pointer can be referenced but pass by reference
  • A reference must be initialized on declaration while it is not necessary in case of pointer.
  • A reference shares the same memory address with the original variable but also takes up some space on the stack whereas a pointer has its own memory address and size on the stack.


raja
Published on 28-Feb-2018 11:14:59
Advertisements