To test this fix, the results before and after applying the changes
should be the same. We need to test that the functionality that uses the
data passed by reference (assign_by_ref) is not changed when we use the
assign() instead.

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  Use of assign_by_ref() is not clear as to what is required

Status in Mahara:
  In Progress

Bug description:
  In Mahara we have a bunch of $smarty->assign_by_ref('item',

  It was originally added to smarty/dwoo due to the following

  "The assign_by_ref() original intention in Smarty 2 was to work around
  the object-by-copy behavior of PHP4."

  "The _by_ref methods have been introduced in Smarty2 mainly to be able
  to pass objects to the templates in PHP4. In PHP5 these are passed
  alway as a reference."

  But it doesn't look like we use them in a true reference sort of way

  What I mean is, this example shows referenced vs not referenced
  'title' variable:

  $smarty = smarty();
  $title = 'cats';
  $smarty->assign('title', $title);
  $smarty->assign_by_ref('titleref', $title);
  $title = 'dogs';

  In the template it will display 'cat' as title and 'dogs' as titleref
  rather than 'cat'.

  We don't support PHP4 and so should clean up the code and make the
  assign_by_ref() calls simply assign() where appropriate to make the
  code clear as to what we are wanting.

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