C# reference parameters
Reference parameters allows a method to change the values of data that are defined in the caller's scope. In this tutorial, we look at how to use them.
Reference parameters allows a method to change the values of data that are defined in the caller's scope. In other languages, the traditional approach to achieving this would be to modify global variables or return some value and have the caller assign this to whatever it wants.
Note here that
i is a reference parameter and that we have to use the
ref modifier to signal that. What happens when we call
We're printing the value of
numberOfPaperClips before and after the method call to verify that the value of
numberOfPaperClips does indeed change, despite the variable being outside the scope of
Console.ReadLine() call is just to prevent the console application from terminating immediately.
And the output:
Output vs reference parameters
- Output parameters have to be assigned before the method they are declared in ends. However, they do not need to be initialised before they are passed into the method that takes them as parameters
- Since reference parameters allow you to modify the value of some data, you have to initialise the reference parameter before you pass it into a method. You are not able to modify (e.g. increment an integer) if it is unassigned.