183: Overview of the Various Timer Characteristics in Visual C#

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TABLE 183: Overview of the Various Timer Characteristics
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Feature Description Support for adding and removing listeners after the timer is instantiated Supports callbacks on the user interface thread Calls back from threads obtained from the thread pool Supports drag-and-drop in the Windows Forms Designer Suitable for running in a multithreaded server environment
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TABLE 183: Overview of the Various Timer Characteristics (Continued)
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Feature Description Includes support for passing arbitrary state from the timer initialization to the callback Implements IDisposable Supports on-off callbacks as well as periodic repeating callbacks Accessible across application domain boundaries Supports IComponent; hostable in an IContainer
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The other two timers are very similar SystemThreadingTimer is essentially a lighter-weight implementation of SystemTimersTimer Specifically, SystemThreadingTimer does not derive from SystemComponentModelComponent, and therefore, you cannot use it as a component within a component container, something that implements SystemComponentModelIContainer Another difference is that SystemThreadingTimer enables the passing of state, an object parameter, from the call to start the timer and then into the call that fires the timer notification The remaining differences are simply in the API usability with SystemTimersTimer supporting a synchronization object and having calls that are slightly more intuitive Both SystemTimersTimer and SystemThreadingTimer are designed for use in server-type processes, and neither should interact directly with the user interface Furthermore, both timers use the system thread pool Table 183 provides an overall comparison of the various timers Using SystemWindowsFormsTimer is a relatively obvious choice for user interface programming The only caution is that a long-running operation on the user interface thread may delay the arrival of a timer s expiration Choosing between the other two options is less obvious, and generally, the difference between the two is insignificant If hosting within an IContainer is necessary, SystemTimersTimer is the right choice However, if no specific SystemTimersTimer feature is required, choose SystemThreadingTimer by default, simply because it is a slightly lighterweight implementation Listing 1816 and Listing 1817 provide sample code for using SystemTimersTimer and SystemThreadingTimer, respectively Their code is very similar, including the fact that both support instantiation within a using statement because both support IDispose The output for both listings is identical, and appears in Output 1813
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Listing 1816: Using SystemTimersTimer
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using System; using SystemTimers; using SystemThreading; // Because Timer exists in both the SystemTimers and // SystemThreading namespaces, you disambiguate "Timer" // using an alias directive
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using Timer = SystemTimersTimer; class UsingSystemTimersTimer { private static int _Count=0; private static readonly AutoResetEvent _ResetEvent = new AutoResetEvent(false); private static int _AlarmThreadId; public static void Main() { using( Timer timer = new Timer() ) { // Initialize Timer timerAutoReset = true; timerInterval = 1000; timerElapsed += new ElapsedEventHandler(Alarm); timerStart(); // Wait for Alarm to fire for the 10th time _ResetEventWaitOne(); } // Verify that the thread executing the alarm // Is different from the thread executing Main if(_AlarmThreadId == ThreadCurrentThreadManagedThreadId) { throw new ApplicationException( "Thread Ids are the same"); } if(_Count < 9) { throw new ApplicationException(" _Count < 9"); }; ConsoleWriteLine( "(Alarm Thread Id) {0} != {1} (Main Thread Id)", _AlarmThreadId, ThreadCurrentThreadManagedThreadId); ConsoleWriteLine("Final Count = {0}", _Count); } static void Alarm(object sender, ElapsedEventArgs eventArgs) { _Count++; ConsoleWriteLine("{0}:- {1}", eventArgsSignalTimeToString("T"), _Count); if (_Count >= 9)
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{ _AlarmThreadId = ThreadCurrentThreadManagedThreadId; _ResetEventSet(); } } }
In Listing 1816, you have using directives for both SystemThreading and SystemTimers This makes the Timer type ambiguous Therefore, use an alias to explicitly associate Timer with SystemTimersTimer One noteworthy characteristic of SystemThreadingTimer is that it takes the callback delegate and interval within the constructor
Listing 1817: Using SystemThreadingTimer
using System; using SystemThreading; class UsingSystemThreadingTimer { private static int _Count=0; private static readonly AutoResetEvent _ResetEvent = new AutoResetEvent(false); private static int _AlarmThreadId; public static void Main() { // Timer(callback, state, dueTime, period) using( Timer timer = new Timer(Alarm, null, 0, 1000) ) { // Wait for Alarm to fire for the 10th time _ResetEventWaitOne(); } // Verify that the thread executing the alarm // Is different from the thread executing Main if(_AlarmThreadId == ThreadCurrentThreadManagedThreadId) { throw new ApplicationException( "Thread Ids are the same"); } if(_Count < 9) { throw new ApplicationException(" _Count < 9"); };