Copying, Passing, and Comparing by Value

// First we illustrate copy by value. var n = 1; // Variable n holds the value 1. var m = n; // Copy by value: variable m holds a distinct value 1. // Here's a function we'll use to illustrate pass-by-value. // As we'll see, the function doesn't work the way we'd like it to. function add_to_total(total, x) { total = total + x; // This line only changes the internal copy of total. } // Now call the function, passing the numbers contained in n and m by value. // The value of n is copied, and that copied value is named total within the // function. The function adds a copy of m to that copy of n. But adding // something to a copy of n doesn't affect the original value of n outside // of the function. So calling this function doesn't accomplish anything. add_to_total(n, m); // Now, we'll look at comparison by value. // In the line of code below, the literal 1 is clearly a distinct numeric // value encoded in the program. We compare it to the value held in variable // n. In comparison by value, the bytes of the two numbers are checked to // see if they are the same. if (n == 1) m = 2; // n contains the same value as the literal 1; m is now 2.