dangling reference

dangling reference

A link or pointer to an instruction, table element, index item, etc. that no longer contains the same content. If the reference is not a currently valid address, or if it is valid but there is no content in that location, it may cause the computer to crash if the software is not programmed carefully.
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References in periodicals archive ?
A few small oversights in the English edition a missing word here, a dangling reference there are only remarkable because the publication is otherwise so polished.
For example, when people dial a telephone number and get a "no such number" message (the equivalent of a dangling reference), they do not throw up their hands in despair.
Dangling references fall under the broader topic of referential integrity.