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Pointers (Java and C# Cross Reference Guide)

By Mike Prestwood

Java versus C#: A side by side comparison between Java and C#.

 
Data Structures
 

Data structures allow you to store and work with data. Common data structures include arrays, associative arrays, etc.

Pointers

[Other Languages] 

General Info: Pointers / References

A pointer is a variable type that allows you to refer indirectly to another object. Instead of holding data, a pointer holds the address to data -- the address of another variable or object. You can change the address value a pointer points to thus changing the variable or object the pointer is pointing to.

A reference is a type of pointer that cannot change and it must always point to a valid storage (no nulls).

Java:   Not Supported

Java does not offer developer defined pointers.

C#: 

Although pointer data types in C# coding are less important than in other languages such as C++, C# does support developer defined pointers. Use the * operator to declare a pointer data type. Use the & operator to return the current address of a variable.

In .Net managed coding the use of pointers is not safe because the garbage collector may move memory around. To safely use pointers, use the unsafe keyword. However, avoid unsafe code if possible.

C++/CLI has more extensive support for pointers than C#. If you have needs that go beyond what C# offers, you can code in C++/CLI and add it to your project.

Syntax Example:
//Declare a pointer of type integer.
Integer *PCounter;












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