Returning References

Returning by-reference is useful when you want to use a function to find which variable a reference should be bound to. When returning references, use this syntax:

<?php
function &find_var ($param)
{
    
/* ...code... */
    
return $found_var;
}

$foo =& find_var ($bar);
$foo->x = 2;
?>

In this example, the property of the object returned by the find_var function would be set, not the copy, as it would be without using reference syntax.

Note: Unlike parameter passing, here you have to use & in both places - to indicate that you return by-reference, not a copy as usual, and to indicate that reference binding, rather than usual assignment, should be done for $foo.


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