[Development] HEADS UP: Don't use QList, use Q_DECLARE_TYPEINFO

Curtis Mitch mitch.curtis at theqtcompany.com
Fri Jul 10 10:05:40 CEST 2015

> -----Original Message-----
> From: development-bounces+mitch.curtis=theqtcompany.com at qt-project.org
> [mailto:development-bounces+mitch.curtis=theqtcompany.com at qt-
> project.org] On Behalf Of Marc Mutz
> Sent: Friday, 10 July 2015 11:04 AM
> To: development at qt-project.org
> Subject: [Development] HEADS UP: Don't use QList, use Q_DECLARE_TYPEINFO
> Hi,
> I'll never manage to eradicate inefficient QLists if people continue to
> add
> new ones :) So here are some things I'd like _everyone_ to watch out for
> in
> reviews and mercilessly -1:
> - using QList
> - not using Q_DECLARE_TYPEINFO
> Let me qualify that a bit: QList<C> is a _very_ bad idea for virtually
> any C,
> because the minutest of mistakes (and the default behaviour _is_ a
> mistake)
> can render it utterly and unacceptably inefficient. I won't give you the
> whole
> story (google "QList harmful" for that), but never, ever use QList<C>
> *unless*:
> - sizeof(C) == sizeof(void*) (*both* on 64 and 32-bit platforms!) _and_
> C has
>   been declared Q_MOVABLE_TYPE or Q_PRIMITIVE_TYPE
> -or-
> - the use is unescapable, because other parts of Qt use it (e.g.
> QVariant,
>   QModelIndex).
> The latter doesn't mean that you should _always_ use QList for QVariant
> or
> QModelIndex. If all you're doing is local to your class, then by all
> means use
> a QVector.
> QVector is the correct default container. If you actually need list
> behaviour
> (ie. linked lists), use QLinkedList instead. It tends to be _faster_
> than
> QList.
> In private implementation, also consider using std::vector<C>, esp. if
> you
> never copy it and C is (explictly or implicitly) move-enabled. It
> typically
> produces up to 1KiB less executable code than QVector. *Per
> instantiation*.
> If in *any* kind of doubt whether QList is acceptable, or any of your
> container choices, feel free to add me as a reviewer.
> And please, whenever you add a new type (not just class, *any* type,
> incl.
> enums, but excluding QFlags (which are automatically primitive)),
> strongly
> consider Q_DECLARE_METATYPE with the appropriate flag (yes, even

I'm guessing that you meant to write Q_DECLARE_TYPEINFO here?

For those (like me) wondering why Marc is advocating the use of this macro, it's briefly explained in the documentation [1]:

"You can use this macro to specify information about a custom type Type. With accurate type information, Qt's generic containers can choose appropriate storage methods and algorithms.

Flags can be one of the following:

Q_PRIMITIVE_TYPE specifies that Type is a POD (plain old data) type with no constructor or destructor, or else a type where every bit pattern is a valid object and memcpy() creates a valid independent copy of the object.
Q_MOVABLE_TYPE specifies that Type has a constructor and/or a destructor but can be moved in memory using memcpy().
Q_COMPLEX_TYPE (the default) specifies that Type has constructors and/or a destructor and that it may not be moved in memory."

[1] http://doc.qt.io/qt-5/qtglobal.html#Q_DECLARE_TYPEINFO

> Q_COMPLEX_TYPE). About the only time this can be considered optional is
> for
> polymorphic classes. It should become second nature to
> It should be considered a _must_ to Q_DECLARE_TYPEINFO any type that is
> put
> into a QVector, QList or QVariant. In fact, my local copy enforces this
> at
> compile-time. I hope to push this work at some point, but of course,
> that
> means that each and every occurrence in Qt itself first needs to be
> fixed, and
> even then, we can only enable it as an opt-in to not break user code
> (even if
> it deserves to be broken).
> Thanks,
> Marc
> --
> Marc Mutz <marc.mutz at kdab.com> | Senior Software Engineer
> KDAB (Deutschland) GmbH & Co.KG, a KDAB Group Company
> Tel: +49-30-521325470
> KDAB - The Qt Experts
> _______________________________________________
> Development mailing list
> Development at qt-project.org
> http://lists.qt-project.org/mailman/listinfo/development

More information about the Development mailing list