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I'm trying to understand how "invalidateblock"-function works, literally line by line.

Since I'm at basic level in C++, I couldn't explain to myself what's the "&" after "Array" there to achieve though I know of references and pointers and though I've found out that it's a so called "type modifier". Still I'm wondering "Array" is a type just like "int", "char" etc.

Where can I find more information on where Array is defined/explained?What are member functions?

Thanks in advance!

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this question is not related to Bitcoin specifically and would be better suited for stackoverflow.com – cdecker May 18 '15 at 19:11
  • Ok, but I asked it here in order to hear developer's answers or comments who have written the code and are represented in Bitcoi.SE. – Aliakbar Ahmadi May 18 '15 at 20:41
  • Can you provide a link to the particular software your question is about? – David Schwartz May 18 '15 at 23:05
  • @DavidSchwartz: I've been looking at rpcblockchain.cpp of bitcoin-0.10.0 – Aliakbar Ahmadi May 19 '15 at 10:43
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It's part of the JSON code. An Array is a JSON entity that contains an ordered list of zero or more JSON entities. As its name, "params", suggests, this one contains the parameters to the command. So when you see:

std::string strHash = params[0].get_str();

That gets the first parameter into a string called strHash. This makes sense since the first (and only) parameter to invalidateblock is a hash, as this help text indicates:

        "invalidateblock \"hash\"\n"
        "\nPermanently marks a block as invalid, as if it violated a consensus rule.\n"
        "\nArguments:\n"
        "1. hash   (string, required) the hash of the block to mark as invalid\n"
        "\nResult:\n"
        "\nExamples:\n"
  • Thanks! But what's the purpose of "&" after "Array"? I think type modifiers, such as "&", are used in programming to convert a data type into another and obviously Array is being converted into a reference type while it's defined in the "invalidateblock"-function so can I assume that this conversion makes references out of Array's params? And if yes, what variables are they references to? What do they have to do with get_str()? – Aliakbar Ahmadi May 19 '15 at 10:55
  • @AliakbarAhmadi It sounds like you need to learn C++ and then come back and look at this code. – David Schwartz May 19 '15 at 16:41
  • I know I'm not using the best technical terms but would you give me a hint to understand: why I need to put a "&" after "Array" though - to my limited knowledge - you could leave it away and simply write ‍‍‍Value invalidateblock(const Array params, bool fHelp) {...‎‎‏}? - I found this but it's not really helping to understand this problem. But I think get_str() is just putting the hash value as a string to params[0]!? – Aliakbar Ahmadi May 19 '15 at 17:10
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    @AliakbarAhmadi Why do you think you need to do that? In this case, the parameter could be passed by value or by reference, but passing by reference is cheaper. Competent C++ coders reflexively pass "complex" classes by reference when that is possible because it avoids copying the value. – David Schwartz May 19 '15 at 17:16
  • David Schwartz, thanks! Finally you gave the answer and I can sleep well :D +1 – Aliakbar Ahmadi May 19 '15 at 18:26

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