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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: Beginner
Aug 1, 2000

Reference to Pointers

Question:
When should you use reference to pointers like those found in function arguments (class_name * & )?

Answer:
When you want the callee to change the pointer itself, not the object to which it points. For example, a function that allocates memory and assigns the address of the memory block it allocated to its argument must take a reference to a pointer, or a pointer to pointer:

void allocate( void *& ptr, int size)
{
 ptr = new char[size); // change the value of ptr
}
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