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ref attribute

The [ref] attribute identifies a reference pointer. It is used simply to represent a level of indirection.


pointer_default(ref)

typedef [ ref [[ , type-attribute-list ]] ] type-specifier declarator-list; 

typedef [ struct | union ] 
{
    [ ref [[ , field-attribute-list ]] ] type-specifier declarator-list;
    ...}

[[ [ function-attribute-list ] ]] type-specifier [[ptr-decl]] function-name(
    [ ref [[ , parameter-attribute-list ]] ] type-specifier [[standard-declarator]]
    , ...);

Parameters

type-attribute-list

Specifies one or more attributes that apply to the type. Valid type attributes include [handle], [switch_type], [transmit_as]; the pointer attributes [ref], [unique], or [ptr]; and the usage attributes [context_handle], [string], and [ignore]. Separate multiple attributes with commas.

type-specifier

Specifies a base type, struct, union, or enum type or type identifier. An optional storage specification can precede type-specifier.

standard-declarator

Specifies a standard C declarator, such as an identifier, a pointer declarator, or an array declarator. For more information, see Array and Sized-Pointer Attributes, arrays, and Arrays and Pointers.

declarator-list

Specifies standard C declarators, such as identifiers, pointer declarators, and array declarators. For more information, see Array and Sized-Pointer Attributes, arrays, and Arrays and Pointers. The declarator-list consists of one or more declarators separated by commas. The parameter-name identifier in the function declarator is optional.

field-attribute-list

Specifies zero or more field attributes that apply to the structure, union member, or function parameter. Valid field attributes include [first_is], [last_is], [length_is], [max_is], [size_is]; the usage attributes [string], [ignore], and [context_handle]; the pointer attribute [ref], [unique], or [ptr]; and the union attribute [switch_type]. Separate multiple field attributes with commas.

function-attribute-list

Specifies zero or more attributes that apply to the function. Valid function attributes are [callback], [local]; the pointer attribute [ref], [unique], or [ptr]; and the usage attributes [string], [ignore], and [context_handle].

ptr-decl

Specifies at least one pointer declarator to which the [ref] attribute applies. A pointer declarator is the same as the pointer declarator used in C; it is constructed from the * designator, modifiers such as far, and the qualifier const.

function-name

Specifies the name of the remote procedure.

parameter-attribute-list

Consists of zero or more attributes appropriate for the specified parameter type. Parameter attributes can take the directional attributes [in] and [out]; the field attributes [first_is], [last_is], [length_is], [max_is], [size_is], and [switch_type]; the pointer attribute [ref], [unique], or [ptr]; and the usage attributes [context_handle] and [string]. The usage attribute [ignore] cannot be used as a parameter attribute. Separate multiple attributes with commas.

Remarks

A pointer attribute can be applied as a type attribute, as a field attribute that applies to a structure member, union member, or parameter; or as a function attribute that applies to the function return type. The pointer attribute can also appear with the [pointer_default] keyword.

A reference pointer has the following characteristics:

  • Always points to valid storage; never has the value NULL. A reference pointer can always be dereferenced.
  • Never changes during a call. A reference pointer always points to the same storage on the client before and after the call.
  • Does not allocate new memory on the client. Data returned from the server is written into existing storage specified by the value of the reference pointer before the call.
  • Does not cause aliasing. Storage pointed to by a reference pointer cannot be reached from any other name in the function.

A reference pointer cannot be used as the type of a pointer returned by a function.

If no attribute is specified for a top-level pointer parameter, it is treated as a reference pointer.

Examples

[unique] char * GetFirstName( 
    [in, ref] char * pszFullName);

See also

arrays
Arrays and Pointers
Array and Sized-Pointer Attributes
MIDL Base Types
callback
const
context_handle
enum
first_is
handle
ignore
last_is
length_is
local
max_is
out
ptr
size_is
string
struct
switch_type
transmit_as
union
unique

 

 

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