Multiple timers? [SOLVED]


If I want a timer in my component I make it inherit from the timer class, I call startTimerHz() and then override the timerCallback() function with whatever I want to do.


What If I now want another timer with its own timerCallback() function to do something else?

I can use composition to include a Timer object in my private: section let’s say: Timer anotherTimer

Then in the constructor of my component: anotherTimer.startTimer(100);

and then somewhere I’m going to need to write the callBack function.

I’ve tried both:




Both return the error:

error: ‘anotherTimer’ does not name a type

How do you add a second timer?? Thanks y’all

If you want several timers for a single component/object, inherit from MultiTimer. If you want a single timer or multiple timers for multiple components/objects, it is more complicated, I’ve never properly tested and benchmarked how it should be done. (I suspect there is some overhead and the multiple objects should probably use a shared timer or shared multitimers, but it does complicate things and one probably should not do it without some evidence the extraneous timers actually use a lot of resources…)

But MultiTimer just triggers the same timerCallback(int timerID) function, right?

So I would need to put a costly if (timerID == anotherTimerID) in timerCallback(int timerID) in order to separate the triggers (interrupts?).

The other way I can think to do it is to create a std::thread with a callback to a function that looks like this

void gooldOldThreadding()
    while (true)
        // do stuff
        Time::waitForMillisecondCounter(Time::getMillisecondCounter() + 50);

Costly if? You do understand that just a single timer already uses thousands, if not tens of thousands, of CPU cycles to make the callback, right? The if comparison in the MultiTimer callback doesn’t add anything of consequence.


Okay, I just figured because the internet is full of the echoes of “branching is sloooow, avoid branching” etc. And you certainly notice the effect of an if statement in your audio thread (but yes, 60hz ain’t got nothing on 44,100hz!!)

Okay, so I guess you’re right, but just to be totally clear, I should drop my fear of if statements? And people won’'t look at my code and cringe if I they see a bunch of ifs in a 60hz function? :sweat_smile:

Yes, in principle conditionals (“if” etc) are “slow”, but it should be seen in the context where it is happening. For example, if you have some stuff running a couple of thousands of times per second, it probably doesn’t matter at all.

But even if you do it much faster, like for each audio sample, (so starting from something like 44100 times per second) it might not matter that much. Modern CPUs do branch prediction and stuff, so in the end the only way to see how it works is to try it out, and make some judgment call if it is going to work fast enough or not. (Disclaimer : I have myself stopped caring about branching in my code for performance reasons a long time ago. It might not be the right thing to do, but oh well…However, excessive branching can make the code difficult to read and understand, so if things look like they are going that way, then I might do something about it.)

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There are many articles on the interwebs about ‘premature optimization’, and you will find Jules warning against it many times on this forum. Get your code working, and profile it if you think there are performance issues. As well, I just watched a good talk on ‘Design For Performance’, which talks about having good designs, so they can be optimized if needed.