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From: Rob Stewart (stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-05-22 13:15:17

From: "James Curran" <jamescurran_at_[hidden]>
> Chuck Messenger wrote:
> >> * add_options() should use references rather than pointers
> > "Pointer for return value" is C semantics. In C++,
> > pointers denote optional values. Non-const references are for return
> > values.
> I disagree *strongly*. In C and C++, the address-of syntax clearly
> indicates that this is a value that will be changed. Your suggestion of
> using a non-const reference would require me to check the header file to
> find the signature of _every_single_F#$^%ing_function to figure out which
> parameters are changed and which one's aren't. (particularly in the case of

Disagree strongly all you want, but I only use pointers to
indicate optional arguments and to pass references (general
meaning of the word) to objects that are expected to outlive the
object to which they are given (usually in the ctor). In the
former case, the argument may be null so I check for that case.
In the latter, I often use RCSPs, but not always.

I don't use non-const reference parameters often (and when I do
they are always the first argument(s)). I find they work
intuitively. You see, such functions always indicate, by their
very name, that they are providing a value, so the name quite
reasonably documents the output parameter.

Using pointers in this context would be counterintuitive to me.

Ultimately, someone will be disappointed.

Rob Stewart                           stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer           
Susquehanna International Group, LLP  using std::disclaimer;

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