Alternatively, a hard reference can point/refer to anonymous data, namely data that does not have a variable name of its own. Such a reference is called an anonymous reference.
In the following pages, whenever we use the term reference, we mean a hard reference.
A reference is itself a scalar. We previously learned that there are two types of scalars, namely numbers and strings. References are a third type of a scalar.
References can be used to build complex data structures, such as two-dimensional arrays, arrays of hashes, hashes of arrays, hashes of hashes, records etc. We will learn about them later.
Note: a given referent may be pointed to by more than one reference.