Passing a structures to a function compared to multiple variables

I have a question that I hope you can help me with, it is about MQL’s way of passing objects by reference.

If I have a structure that contains 11 variables for example, comprising of 6 string variables, 5 double variables and 1 datetime variable. Is there any benefit in MQL from passing the structure by reference to a function as opposed to passing the 11 variables independently?

I believe that a reference does not work the same in MQL as it does in C++ and is not actually pointing to a memory location, but Is passing the MQL structure more of a memory hog way of doing it than passing the separate variables?

I find structures a convenient way of grouping like variables together and make the code more descriptive, but I don’t want to keep doing this if it is bogging the program down

Thanks for your help,

I put your question to ChatGPT-4. This is the response:

In MQL4, the benefits of passing a structure by reference compared to passing individual variables are primarily about code readability and maintainability rather than performance. MQL4 is indeed different from C++ when it comes to handling references, but using structures to group related variables can still be useful for organizing your code.

Passing a structure by reference in MQL4 has some advantages:

  1. Code readability: By grouping related variables into a single structure, you can make your code more readable and easier to understand. This can be especially helpful when you have a large number of variables.
  2. Maintainability: When you need to modify your code, working with a structure can make it easier to apply changes. For example, if you need to add or remove a variable from the structure, you only need to update the structure definition and any related functions, rather than modifying multiple function calls.
  3. Encapsulation: Using a structure can help you encapsulate related data, making it more modular and organized.

As for performance, there might be some minimal overhead when passing structures by reference in MQL4, but it’s unlikely to cause any significant performance issues. MQL4 internally copies the data when passing a structure by reference, but the performance impact of this is generally negligible for most applications.

If you find that using structures improves the readability and maintainability of your code, it’s worth continuing to use them. The potential performance impact is likely to be minimal compared to the benefits you gain in terms of code organization and ease of maintenance.

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