Mac Developer Library Developer


This manual page is part of Xcode Tools version 5.0

To obtain these tools:

If you are running a version of Xcode Tools other than 5.0, view the documentation locally:

  • In Xcode

  • In Terminal, using the man(1) command

Reading manual pages

Manual pages are intended as a quick reference for people who already understand a technology.

  • To learn how the manual is organized or to learn about command syntax, read the manual page for manpages(5).

  • For more information about this technology, look for other documentation in the Apple Developer Library.

  • For general information about writing shell scripts, read Shell Scripting Primer.

dispatch_object(3)       BSD Library Functions Manual       dispatch_object(3)

     dispatch_object -- General manipulation of dispatch objects

     #include <dispatch/dispatch.h>

     dispatch_retain(dispatch_object_t object);

     dispatch_release(dispatch_object_t object);

     dispatch_suspend(dispatch_object_t object);

     dispatch_resume(dispatch_object_t object);

     void *
     dispatch_get_context(dispatch_object_t object);

     dispatch_set_context(dispatch_object_t object, void *context);

     dispatch_set_finalizer_f(dispatch_object_t object, dispatch_function_t finalizer);

     Dispatch objects share functions for coordinating memory management, suspension, cancellation and con-text context
     text pointers.

     Objects returned by creation functions in the dispatch framework may be uniformly retained and released
     with the functions dispatch_retain() and dispatch_release() respectively.

     The dispatch framework does not guarantee that any given client has the last or only reference to a
     given object. Objects may be retained internally by the system.

           When building with an Objective-C or Objective-C++ compiler, dispatch  objects  are  declared  as
           Objective-C types. This results in the following differences compared to building as plain C/C++:

           -   if Objective-C Automated Reference Counting is enabled, dispatch objects are  memory  managed
               by the Objective-C runtime and explicit calls to the dispatch_retain() and dispatch_release()
               functions will produce build errors.

               Note: when ARC is enabled, care needs to be taken with dispatch  API  returning  an  interior
               pointer  that  is  only  valid as long as an associated object has not been released. If that
               object is held in a variable with automatic storage, it may need to  be  annotated  with  the
               objc_precise_lifetime attribute, or stored in a __strong instance variable instead, to ensure
               that the object is not prematurely released. The functions returning  interior  pointers  are
               dispatch_data_create_map(3) and dispatch_data_apply(3).

           -   the  Blocks  runtime  automatically  retains and releases dispatch objects captured by blocks
               upon Block_copy() and Block_release(), e.g. as performed during asynchronous execution  of  a
               block via dispatch_async(3).

               Note:  retain cycles may be encountered if dispatch source objects are captured by their han-dler handler
               dler blocks; these cycles can be broken by declaring the captured object __weak or by calling
               dispatch_source_cancel(3) to cause its handler blocks to be released explicitly.

           -   dispatch objects can be added directly to Cocoa collections, and their lifetime is tracked by
               the Objective-C static analyzer.

           Integration of dispatch objects with Objective-C requires targeting Mac OS X 10.8 or  later,  and
           is  disabled when building with Objective-C Garbage Collection or for the legacy Objective-C run-time. runtime.
           time. It can also be disabled manually by using compiler options to define the OS_OBJECT_USE_OBJC
           preprocessor macro to 0.

     Important: When building with a plain C/C++ compiler or when integration with Objective-C is disabled,
     dispatch objects are not automatically retained and released when captured by a block. Therefore, when
     a dispatch object is captured by a block that will be executed asynchronously, the object must be manu-ally manually
     ally retained and released:

           dispatch_async(queue, ^{

     The invocation of blocks on dispatch queues or dispatch sources may be suspended or resumed with the
     functions dispatch_suspend() and dispatch_resume() respectively. Other dispatch objects do not support

     The dispatch framework always checks the suspension status before executing a block, but such changes
     never affect a block during execution (non-preemptive).  Therefore the suspension of an object is asyn-chronous, asynchronous,
     chronous, unless it is performed from the context of the target queue for the given object.  The result
     of suspending or resuming an object that is not a dispatch queue or a dispatch source is undefined.

     Important: suspension applies to all aspects of the dispatch object life cycle, including the finalizer
     function and cancellation handler. Suspending an object causes it to be retained and resuming an object
     causes it to be released. Therefore it is important to balance calls to dispatch_suspend() and
     dispatch_resume() such that the dispatch object is fully resumed when the last reference is released.
     The result of releasing all references to a dispatch object while in a suspended state is undefined.

     Dispatch objects support supplemental context pointers. The value of the context pointer may be
     retrieved and updated with dispatch_get_context() and dispatch_set_context() respectively.  The
     dispatch_set_finalizer_f() specifies an optional per-object finalizer function that is invoked asyn-chronously asynchronously
     chronously if the context pointer is not NULL when the last reference to the object is released.  This
     gives the application an opportunity to free the context data associated with the object.  The final-izer finalizer
     izer will be run on the object's target queue.

     dispatch(3), dispatch_async(3), dispatch_group_create(3), dispatch_queue_create(3),
     dispatch_semaphore_create(3), dispatch_set_target_queue(3), dispatch_source_cancel(3),

Darwin                           March 1, 2012                          Darwin

Reporting Problems

The way to report a problem with this manual page depends on the type of problem:

Content errors
Report errors in the content of this documentation with the feedback links below.
Bug reports
Report bugs in the functionality of the described tool or API through Bug Reporter.
Formatting problems
Report formatting mistakes in the online version of these pages with the feedback links below.