A pointer is a data type whose value refers directly to (or "points to") another value stored elsewhere in the computer memory using its address.

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22answers
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Are null references really a bad thing?

I've heard it said that the inclusion of null references in programming languages is the "billion dollar mistake". But why? Sure, they can cause NullReferenceExceptions, but so what? Any element of ...
58
votes
3answers
28k views

How is a Java reference different from a C pointer?

C has pointers and Java has what is called references. They have some things in common in the sense that they all point to something. I know that pointers in C store the addresses they point to. Do ...
16
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12answers
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int* i; or int *i; or int * i; [closed]

What is your favorite method to declare a pointer? int* i; or int *i; or int * i; or int*i; Please explain why. see also: http://www.stroustrup.com/bs_faq2.html#whitespace
63
votes
32answers
11k views

What's a nice explanation for pointers? [closed]

In your own studies (on your own, or for a class) did you have an "ah ha" moment when you finally, really understood pointers? Do you have an explanation you use for beginner programmers that seems ...
8
votes
8answers
11k views

What are use cases and advantages of pointers? [closed]

I often struggle to see the advantages of pointers (except for low level programming). Why use of char* instead of a String or char[] or what advantages pointer arithmetic brings. So what are the ...
23
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4answers
3k views

Why do C++ and Java both use the notion of “reference” but not in the same sense?

In C++ a reference argument to a function allows the function to make the reference refer to something else: int replacement = 23; void changeNumberReference(int& reference) { reference = ...
24
votes
10answers
10k views

Why are pointers not recommended when coding with C++

I read from somewhere that when using C++ it is recommended not to use pointers. Why is pointers such a bad idea when you are using C++. For C programmers that are used to using pointers, what is the ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Do pointers really exist in Java? [duplicate]

I read quite a few resources on the internet and now I am quite confused about the existence of pointers in Java. Some claim that there are pointers and some claim that there is no such concept. So ...
1
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2answers
2k views

Storing a pass-by-reference parameter as a pointer - Bad practice?

I recently came across the following pattern in an API I've been forced to use: class SomeObject { public: // Constructor. SomeObject(bool copy = false); // Set a value. void ...
6
votes
5answers
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Is there any difference between pointers and references? [duplicate]

References and pointers do the same thing as I know. Is there any difference between them? If there is no difference, why we call them reference not pointer?
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5answers
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When and why would we use immutable pointers?

In Java, the String object is both immutable and also a pointer (aka reference type). I'm sure there are other types/objects which are both immutable and a pointer as well and that this extends ...