Wt  3.7.1
Wt::Signals Namespace Reference

Namespace for signal/slot implementation. More...


typedef implementation_defined trackable
 Base class for lifetime-tracked objects. More...
typedef implementation_defined connection
 Implementation-defined class representing a connection. More...

Detailed Description

Namespace for signal/slot implementation.

Namespace Wt::Signals offers classes for connecting signals to handlers of those signals. The underlying implementation is configurable, and some details may be different from one configuration to the other, but the common basis is documented here.

For now, Wt's signals implementations are based on boost's signals implementation. Wt wraps these implementations in its own Wt::Signal class, so you don't interact immediately with this object. Refer to the documentation of Wt::Signal for the API description. Connection lifetime management however depends on the underlying signals implementation.

A call to Wt::Signal::connect() returns a class of type Wt::Signals::connection. This class allows for manual connection management: if you ever want to disconnect a signal, keep a copy of the connection object and invoke connection.disconnect(). Usually, you will use automatic connection management as described below.

Wt's signal/slot implementation offers automatic connection management through object lifetime tracking. With automatic connection management, a signal will be disconnected when the signal's target object is deleted. This lifetime tracking works, provided that the classes whose lifetime has to be tracked inherit from WObject, and that the Wt::WSignal class is able to detect the presence of the WObject class.

Since WObject is a base class for WWidget, the first condition is fullfilled for all of Wt's widgets, classes inheriting from widgets, and other classes that inherit from WObject. For your own classes, you may inherit from WObject in order to activate automatic lifeteime tracking.

The second condition, the ability for the signals library to detect this WObject class, you have to know for which situations lifetime tracking is supported - for all other cases, assume it's not supported. The ability for the signals implementation to detect the lifetime tracked objects, depends on how you invoke the connect() method.

Any connect call where you pass the receiver of the signal directly to the Wt::WSignal::connect() method as first parameter, is ok. If the receiver inherits from WObject, the signal will be disconnected when the receiver is deleted.

In general, connection tracking does not work for the Wt::WSignal::connect(const F &function) method. The only exception is when the function pointer object was created by boost::bind, in which case the receiver object (inheriting from WObject) will be tracked.

Practical guidelines:

Wt used boost.signal (v1) as underlying implementation for its signal/slot system. Since boost 1.54, boost.signal has been marked deprecated, being replaced by boost.signals2. The WT_SIGNALS_IMPLEMENTATION cmake defines allows you to switch between the available implementation for Wt::Signals. There may be other signal/slot libraries supported in the future. With the boost implementations, Wt relies on boost::trackable for the implementation of object lifetime tracking for connection management, meaning that WObject inherits from boost.trackable.

The classes of Wt::Signals are to be considered as not thread safe. Since Wt has a per-session locking mechanism, under the form of the WApplication::UpdateLock, this is hardly an issue. The boost.signals2 implementation offers some degree of thread-safety; please ensure to understand its details before relying on it.

Typedef Documentation

◆ connection

typedef implementation_defined Wt::Signals::connection

Implementation-defined class representing a connection.

This object can be used to manually disconnect a signal-slot connection. For boost signals, the disconnect() member disconnects the connection.

◆ trackable

typedef implementation_defined Wt::Signals::trackable

Base class for lifetime-tracked objects.

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