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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: All
Jul 10, 1998

Functions should not return a reference to a local object

A reference is always bound to the same object. When that object is destroyed, any use of its reference yields undefined behavior. The following example may demonstrate that:
 
int & rif () 
{
int i = 1;
int &ri = i;
return ri; //OOPS!  undefined results; ri is a  reference to a local int; 
}
Danny Kalev
 
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