I know that prepending a '&' to your PHP variable sets up a reference to the original variable instead of copying its value like so:

$original = 'apples';
$secondary = &$original;
$original = 'oranges';

echo $secondary; // 'oranges'

If it works this way, why not just use the original variable then?

Comments

This might help: When do I use Pass by Reference in PHP?

Written by s992

Point of interest: Internally, every duplicate of a variable in PHP is actually a reference, until you try and change its contents. Its then copied and modified at that point.

Written by berty

Accepted Answer

$original = 'apples';

function foo($word) {
    $word = 'oranges';
}

foo($original);
echo $original; // apples, because only local $word was changed, not $original.

foo(&$original);
echo $original; // oranges, because $original and $word are the same
Written by Coronatus
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