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Thread::Queue

Perl 5 version 10.1 documentation
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Thread::Queue

NAME

Thread::Queue - Thread-safe queues

VERSION

This document describes Thread::Queue version 2.11

SYNOPSIS

  1. use strict;
  2. use warnings;
  3. use threads;
  4. use Thread::Queue;
  5. my $q = Thread::Queue->new(); # A new empty queue
  6. # Worker thread
  7. my $thr = threads->create(sub {
  8. while (my $item = $q->dequeue()) {
  9. # Do work on $item
  10. }
  11. })->detach();
  12. # Send work to the thread
  13. $q->enqueue($item1, ...);
  14. # Count of items in the queue
  15. my $left = $q->pending();
  16. # Non-blocking dequeue
  17. if (defined(my $item = $q->dequeue_nb())) {
  18. # Work on $item
  19. }
  20. # Get the second item in the queue without dequeuing anything
  21. my $item = $q->peek(1);
  22. # Insert two items into the queue just behind the head
  23. $q->insert(1, $item1, $item2);
  24. # Extract the last two items on the queue
  25. my ($item1, $item2) = $q->extract(-2, 2);

DESCRIPTION

This module provides thread-safe FIFO queues that can be accessed safely by any number of threads.

Any data types supported by threads::shared can be passed via queues:

  • Ordinary scalars
  • Array refs
  • Hash refs
  • Scalar refs
  • Objects based on the above

Ordinary scalars are added to queues as they are.

If not already thread-shared, the other complex data types will be cloned (recursively, if needed, and including any blessings and read-only settings) into thread-shared structures before being placed onto a queue.

For example, the following would cause Thread::Queue to create a empty, shared array reference via &shared([]) , copy the elements 'foo', 'bar' and 'baz' from @ary into it, and then place that shared reference onto the queue:

  1. my @ary = qw/foo bar baz/;
  2. $q->enqueue(\@ary);

However, for the following, the items are already shared, so their references are added directly to the queue, and no cloning takes place:

  1. my @ary :shared = qw/foo bar baz/;
  2. $q->enqueue(\@ary);
  3. my $obj = &shared({});
  4. $$obj{'foo'} = 'bar';
  5. $$obj{'qux'} = 99;
  6. bless($obj, 'My::Class');
  7. $q->enqueue($obj);

See LIMITATIONS for caveats related to passing objects via queues.

QUEUE CREATION

  • ->new()

    Creates a new empty queue.

  • ->new(LIST)

    Creates a new queue pre-populated with the provided list of items.

BASIC METHODS

The following methods deal with queues on a FIFO basis.

  • ->enqueue(LIST)

    Adds a list of items onto the end of the queue.

  • ->dequeue()
  • ->dequeue(COUNT)

    Removes the requested number of items (default is 1) from the head of the queue, and returns them. If the queue contains fewer than the requested number of items, then the thread will be blocked until the requisite number of items are available (i.e., until other threads <enqueue> more items).

  • ->dequeue_nb()
  • ->dequeue_nb(COUNT)

    Removes the requested number of items (default is 1) from the head of the queue, and returns them. If the queue contains fewer than the requested number of items, then it immediately (i.e., non-blocking) returns whatever items there are on the queue. If the queue is empty, then undef is returned.

  • ->pending()

    Returns the number of items still in the queue.

ADVANCED METHODS

The following methods can be used to manipulate items anywhere in a queue.

To prevent the contents of a queue from being modified by another thread while it is being examined and/or changed, lock the queue inside a local block:

  1. {
  2. lock($q); # Keep other threads from changing the queue's contents
  3. my $item = $q->peek();
  4. if ($item ...) {
  5. ...
  6. }
  7. }
  8. # Queue is now unlocked
  • ->peek()
  • ->peek(INDEX)

    Returns an item from the queue without dequeuing anything. Defaults to the the head of queue (at index position 0) if no index is specified. Negative index values are supported as with arrays (i.e., -1 is the end of the queue, -2 is next to last, and so on).

    If no items exists at the specified index (i.e., the queue is empty, or the index is beyond the number of items on the queue), then undef is returned.

    Remember, the returned item is not removed from the queue, so manipulating a peek ed at reference affects the item on the queue.

  • ->insert(INDEX, LIST)

    Adds the list of items to the queue at the specified index position (0 is the head of the list). Any existing items at and beyond that position are pushed back past the newly added items:

    1. $q->enqueue(1, 2, 3, 4);
    2. $q->insert(1, qw/foo bar/);
    3. # Queue now contains: 1, foo, bar, 2, 3, 4

    Specifying an index position greater than the number of items in the queue just adds the list to the end.

    Negative index positions are supported:

    1. $q->enqueue(1, 2, 3, 4);
    2. $q->insert(-2, qw/foo bar/);
    3. # Queue now contains: 1, 2, foo, bar, 3, 4

    Specifying a negative index position greater than the number of items in the queue adds the list to the head of the queue.

  • ->extract()
  • ->extract(INDEX)
  • ->extract(INDEX, COUNT)

    Removes and returns the specified number of items (defaults to 1) from the specified index position in the queue (0 is the head of the queue). When called with no arguments, extract operates the same as dequeue_nb .

    This method is non-blocking, and will return only as many items as are available to fulfill the request:

    1. $q->enqueue(1, 2, 3, 4);
    2. my $item = $q->extract(2) # Returns 3
    3. # Queue now contains: 1, 2, 4
    4. my @items = $q->extract(1, 3) # Returns (2, 4)
    5. # Queue now contains: 1

    Specifying an index position greater than the number of items in the queue results in undef or an empty list being returned.

    1. $q->enqueue('foo');
    2. my $nada = $q->extract(3) # Returns undef
    3. my @nada = $q->extract(1, 3) # Returns ()

    Negative index positions are supported. Specifying a negative index position greater than the number of items in the queue may return items from the head of the queue (similar to dequeue_nb ) if the count overlaps the head of the queue from the specified position (i.e. if queue size + index + count is greater than zero):

    1. $q->enqueue(qw/foo bar baz/);
    2. my @nada = $q->extract(-6, 2); # Returns () - (3+(-6)+2) <= 0
    3. my @some = $q->extract(-6, 4); # Returns (foo) - (3+(-6)+4) > 0
    4. # Queue now contains: bar, baz
    5. my @rest = $q->extract(-3, 4); # Returns (bar, baz) - (2+(-3)+4) > 0

NOTES

Queues created by Thread::Queue can be used in both threaded and non-threaded applications.

LIMITATIONS

Passing objects on queues may not work if the objects' classes do not support sharing. See BUGS AND LIMITATIONS in threads::shared for more.

Passing array/hash refs that contain objects may not work for Perl prior to 5.10.0.

SEE ALSO

Thread::Queue Discussion Forum on CPAN: http://www.cpanforum.com/dist/Thread-Queue

Annotated POD for Thread::Queue: http://annocpan.org/~JDHEDDEN/Thread-Queue-2.11/lib/Thread/Queue.pm

Source repository: http://code.google.com/p/thread-queue/

threads, threads::shared

MAINTAINER

Jerry D. Hedden, <jdhedden AT cpan DOT org>

LICENSE

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.