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.. _module-pw_function:
The function module provides a standard, general-purpose API for wrapping
callable objects.
.. note::
This module is under construction and its API is not complete.
Basic usage
``pw_function`` defines the ``pw::Function`` class. A ``Function`` is a
move-only callable wrapper constructable from any callable object. Functions
are templated on the signature of the callable they store.
Functions implement the call operator --- invoking the object will forward to
the stored callable.
.. code-block:: c++
int Add(int a, int b) { return a + b; }
// Construct a Function object from a function pointer.
pw::Function<int(int, int)> add_function(Add);
// Invoke the function object.
int result = add_function(3, 5);
EXPECT_EQ(result, 8);
// Construct a function from a lambda.
pw::Function<int(int)> negate([](int value) { return -value; });
EXPECT_EQ(negate(27), -27);
Functions are nullable. Invoking a null function triggers a runtime assert.
.. code-block:: c++
// A function intialized without a callable is implicitly null.
pw::Function<void()> null_function;
// Null functions may also be explicitly created or set.
pw::Function<void()> explicit_null_function(nullptr);
pw::Function<void()> function([]() {}); // Valid (non-null) function.
function = nullptr; // Set to null, clearing the stored callable.
// Functions are comparable to nullptr.
if (function != nullptr) {
``pw::Function``'s default constructor is ``constexpr``, so default-constructed
functions may be used in classes with ``constexpr`` constructors and in
``constinit`` expressions.
.. code-block:: c++
class MyClass {
// Default construction of a pw::Function is constexpr.
constexpr MyClass() { ... }
pw::Function<void(int)> my_function;
// pw::Function and classes that use it may be constant initialized.
constinit MyClass instance;
By default, a ``Function`` stores its callable inline within the object. The
inline storage size defaults to the size of two pointers, but is configurable
through the build system. The size of a ``Function`` object is equivalent to its
inline storage size.
Attempting to construct a function from a callable larger than its inline size
is a compile-time error unless dynamic allocation is enabled.
.. admonition:: Inline storage size
The default inline size of two pointers is sufficient to store most common
callable objects, including function pointers, simple non-capturing and
capturing lambdas, and lightweight custom classes.
.. code-block:: c++
// The lambda is moved into the function's internal storage.
pw::Function<int(int, int)> subtract([](int a, int b) { return a - b; });
// Functions can be also be constructed from custom classes that implement
// operator(). This particular object is large (8 ints of space).
class MyCallable {
int operator()(int value);
int data_[8];
// Compiler error: sizeof(MyCallable) exceeds function's inline storage size.
pw::Function<int(int)> function((MyCallable()));
.. admonition:: Dynamic allocation
When ``PW_FUNCTION_ENABLE_DYNAMIC_ALLOCATION`` is enabled, a ``Function``
will use dynamic allocation to store callables that exceed the inline size.
API usage
``pw::Function`` function parameters
When implementing an API which takes a callback, a ``Function`` can be used in
place of a function pointer or equivalent callable.
.. code-block:: c++
// Before:
void DoTheThing(int arg, void (*callback)(int result));
// After. Note that it is possible to have parameter names within the function
// signature template for clarity.
void DoTheThing(int arg, const pw::Function<void(int result)>& callback);
``pw::Function`` is movable, but not copyable, so APIs must accept
``pw::Function`` objects either by const reference (``const
pw::Function<void()>&``) or rvalue reference (``const pw::Function<void()>&&``).
If the ``pw::Function`` simply needs to be called, it should be passed by const
reference. If the ``pw::Function`` needs to be stored, it should be passed as an
rvalue reference and moved into a ``pw::Function`` variable as appropriate.
.. code-block:: c++
// This function calls a pw::Function but doesn't store it, so it takes a
// const reference.
void CallTheCallback(const pw::Function<void(int)>& callback) {
// This function move-assigns a pw::Function to another variable, so it takes
// an rvalue reference.
void StoreTheCallback(pw::Function<void(int)>&& callback) {
stored_callback_ = std::move(callback);
.. admonition:: Rules of thumb for passing a ``pw::Function`` to a function
* **Pass by value**: Never.
This results in unnecessary ``pw::Function`` instances and move operations.
* **Pass by const reference** (``const pw::Function&``): When the
``pw::Function`` is only invoked.
When a ``pw::Function`` is called or inspected, but not moved, take a const
reference to avoid copies and support temporaries.
* **Pass by rvalue reference** (``pw::Function&&``): When the
``pw::Function`` is moved.
When the function takes ownership of the ``pw::Function`` object, always
use an rvalue reference (``pw::Function<void()>&&``) instead of a mutable
lvalue reference (``pw::Function<void()>&``). An rvalue reference forces
the caller to ``std::move`` when passing a preexisting ``pw::Function``
variable, which makes the transfer of ownership explicit. It is possible to
move-assign from an lvalue reference, but this fails to make it obvious to
the caller that the object is no longer valid.
* **Pass by non-const reference** (``pw::Function&``): Rarely, when modifying
a variable.
Non-const references are only necessary when modifying an existing
``pw::Function`` variable. Use an rvalue reference instead if the
``pw::Function`` is moved into another variable.
Calling functions that use ``pw::Function``
A ``pw::Function`` can be implicitly constructed from any callback object. When
calling an API that takes a ``pw::Function``, simply pass the callable object.
There is no need to create an intermediate ``pw::Function`` object.
.. code-block:: c++
// Implicitly creates a pw::Function from a capturing lambda and calls it.
CallTheCallback([this](int result) { result_ = result; });
// Implicitly creates a pw::Function from a capturing lambda and stores it.
StoreTheCallback([this](int result) { result_ = result; });
When working with an existing ``pw::Function`` variable, the variable can be
passed directly to functions that take a const reference. If the function takes
ownership of the ``pw::Function``, move the ``pw::Function`` variable at the
call site.
.. code-block:: c++
// Accepts the pw::Function by const reference.
// Takes ownership of the pw::Function.
void StoreTheCallback(std::move(my_function));
Size reports
Function class
The following size report compares an API using a ``pw::Function`` to a
traditional function pointer.
.. include:: function_size
Callable sizes
The table below demonstrates typical sizes of various callable types, which can
be used as a reference when sizing external buffers for ``Function`` objects.
.. include:: callable_size
``pw::Function`` is an alias of
`fit::function <;drc=f66f54fca0c11a1168d790bcc3d8a5a3d940218d>`_
To enable ``pw_function` for Zephyr add ``CONFIG_PIGWEED_FUNCTION=y`` to the
project's configuration.