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Chapter ‎18   Unsafe code

class Test { static void Swap(ref int x, ref int y) { int temp = x; x = y; y = temp; }

static void Main() { int i = 1, j = 2; Swap(ref i, ref j); Console.WriteLine("i = {0}, j = {1}", i, j); } }

produces the output

i = 2, j = 1

For the invocation of Swap in Main, x represents i and y represents j. Thus, the invocation has the effect of swapping the values of i and j.

In a method that takes reference parameters it is possible for multiple names to represent the same storage location. In the example

class A { string s;

void F(ref string a, ref string b) { s = "One"; a = "Two"; b = "Three"; }

void G() { F(ref s, ref s); } }

the invocation of F in G passes a reference to s for both a and b. Thus, for that invocation, the names s, a, and b all refer to the same storage location, and the three assignments all modify the instance field s.

10.5.1.3 Output parameters

A parameter declared with an out modifier is an output parameter. Similar to a reference parameter, an output parameter does not create a new storage location. Instead, an output parameter represents the same storage location as the variable given as the argument in the method invocation.

When a formal parameter is an output parameter, the corresponding argument in a method invocation must consist of the keyword out followed by a variable-reference (§‎5.3.3) of the same type as the formal parameter. A variable need not be definitely assigned before it can be passed as an output parameter, but following an invocation where a variable was passed as an output parameter, the variable is considered definitely assigned.

Within a method, just like a local variable, an output parameter is initially considered unassigned and must be definitely assigned before its value is used.

Every output parameter of a method must be definitely assigned before the method returns.

Output parameters are typically used in methods that produce multiple return values. For example:

using System;

Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1999-2003. All Rights Reserved.219

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