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<QtConcurrentRun> - Asynchronous Run

The <QtConcurrentRun> header provides a way to run a function in a separate thread. More...


QFuture<T> run ( Function function, ... )

This function is a part of the Qt Concurrent framework.

The QtConcurrent::run() function runs a function in a separate thread. The return value of the function is made available through the QFuture API.

Running a Function in a Separate Thread

To run a function in another thread, use QtConcurrent::run():

 extern void aFunction();
 QFuture<void> future = QtConcurrent::run(aFunction);

This will run aFunction in a separate thread obtained from the default QThreadPool. You can use the QFuture and QFutureWatcher classes to monitor the status of the function.

Passing Arguments to the Function

Passing arguments to the function is done by adding them to the QtConcurrent::run() call immediately after the function name. For example:

 extern void aFunctionWithArguments(int arg1, double arg2, const QString &string);

 int integer = ...;
 double floatingPoint = ...;
 QString string = ...;

 QFuture<void> future = QtConcurrent::run(aFunctionWithArguments, integer, floatingPoint, string);

A copy of each argument is made at the point where QtConcurrent::run() is called, and these values are passed to the thread when it begins executing the function. Changes made to the arguments after calling QtConcurrent::run() are not visible to the thread.

Returning Values from the Function

Any return value from the function is available via QFuture:

 extern QString functionReturningAString();
 QFuture<QString> future = QtConcurrent::run(functionReturningAString);
 QString result = future.result();

As documented above, passing arguments is done like this:

 extern QString someFunction(const QByteArray &input);

 QByteArray bytearray = ...;

 QFuture<QString> future = QtConcurrent::run(someFunction, bytearray);
 QString result = future.result();

Note that the QFuture::result() function blocks and waits for the result to become available. Use QFutureWatcher to get notification when the function has finished execution and the result is available.

Additional API Features

Using Member Functions

QtConcurrent::run() also accepts pointers to member functions. The first argument must be either a const reference or a pointer to an instance of the class. Passing by const reference is useful when calling const member functions; passing by pointer is useful for calling non-const member functions that modify the instance.

For example, calling QString::split() (a const member function) in a separate thread is done like this:

 // call 'QStringList QString::split(const QString &sep, SplitBehavior behavior, Qt::CaseSensitivity cs) const' in a separate thread
 QString string = ...;
 QFuture<QStringList> future = QtConcurrent::run(string, &QString::split, QString(", "), QString::KeepEmptyParts, Qt::CaseSensitive);
 QStringList result = future.result();

Calling a non-const member function is done like this:

 // call 'void QImage::invertPixels(InvertMode mode)' in a separate thread
 QImage image = ...;
 QFuture<void> future = QtConcurrent::run(image, &QImage::invertPixels, QImage::InvertRgba);
 // At this point, the pixels in 'image' have been inverted

Using Bound Function Arguments

Note that Qt does not provide support for bound functions. This is provided by 3rd party libraries like Boost or C++ TR1 Library Extensions.

You can use boost::bind() or std::tr1::bind() to bind a number of arguments to a function when called. There are number of reasons for doing this:

See the documentation for the relevant functions for details on how to use the bind API.

Calling a bound function is done like this:

 void someFunction(int arg1, double arg2);
 QFuture<void> future = QtConcurrent::run(boost::bind(someFunction, 1, 2.0));

Function Documentation

QFuture<T> QtConcurrent::run ( Function function, ... )

Runs function in a separate thread. The thread is taken from the global QThreadPool. Note that the function may not run immediately; the function will only be run when a thread is available.

T is the same type as the return value of function. Non-void return values can be accessed via the QFuture::result() function.

Note that the QFuture returned by QtConcurrent::run() does not support canceling, pausing, or progress reporting. The QFuture returned can only be used to query for the running/finished status and the return value of the function.

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Qt 4.6.3