The choice between ``int* p;'' and ``int *p;'' is not about right and wrong, but about style and emphasis. C emphasized expressions; declarations were often considered little more than a necessary evil. C++, on the other hand, has a heavy emphasis on types.
A ``typical C programmer'' writes ``int *p;'' and explains it ``*p is what is the int'' emphasizing syntax, and may point to the C (and C++) declaration grammar to argue for the correctness of the style. Indeed, the * binds to the name p in the grammar.
A ``typical C++ programmer'' writes ``int* p;'' and explains it ``p is a pointer to an int'' emphasizing type. Indeed the type of p is int*. I clearly prefer that emphasis and see it as important for using the more advanced parts of C++ well.
The critical confusion comes (only) when people try to declare several pointers with a single declaration:
int* p, p1; // probable error: p1 is not an int*Placing the * closer to the name does not make this kind of error significantly less likely.
int *p, p1; // probable error?Declaring one name per declaration minimizes the problem - in particular when we initialize the variables. People are far less likely to write:
int* p = &i;And if they do, the compiler will complain. Whenever something can be done in two ways, someone will be confused. Whenever something is a matter of taste, discussions can drag on forever. Stick to one pointer per declaration and always initialize variables and the source of confusion disappears.
int p1 = p; // error: int initialized by int*