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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: Intermediate
Jun 29, 2005

Passing Pointers Instead of Const Reference Parameters

Usually, you pass const reference parameters to functions like this:

class OneKind;
class AnotherKind;

class Example{
      Example( const OneKind &inParam );		
// conversion operator
      Example( const Example &inOriginal );		
// copy constructor
      const Example &operator=( const Example& inRhs ); 
// assignment operator
      void MemberFunc( const AnotherKind &inParam );
There are many reasons for passing const references—for performance and to preserve polymorphism, as well as to indicate that the object is guaranteed to exist. But if you might be passing a non-existent object, pass a pointer instead—with the understanding that it might be null

Wael Salman
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