CWinThread Class

 

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Represents a thread of execution within an application.

class CWinThread : public CCmdTarget  

Public Constructors

NameDescription
CWinThread::CWinThreadConstructs a CWinThread object.

Public Methods

NameDescription
CWinThread::CreateThreadStarts execution of a CWinThread object.
CWinThread::ExitInstanceOverride to clean up when your thread terminates.
CWinThread::GetMainWndRetrieves a pointer to the main window for the thread.
CWinThread::GetThreadPriorityGets the priority of the current thread.
CWinThread::InitInstanceOverride to perform thread instance initialization.
CWinThread::IsIdleMessageChecks for special messages.
CWinThread::OnIdleOverride to perform thread-specific idle-time processing.
CWinThread::PostThreadMessagePosts a message to another CWinThread object.
CWinThread::PreTranslateMessageFilters messages before they are dispatched to the Windows functions TranslateMessage and DispatchMessage.
CWinThread::ProcessMessageFilterIntercepts certain messages before they reach the application.
CWinThread::ProcessWndProcExceptionIntercepts all unhandled exceptions thrown by the thread's message and command handlers.
CWinThread::PumpMessageContains the thread's message loop.
CWinThread::ResumeThreadDecrements a thread's suspend count.
CWinThread::RunControlling function for threads with a message pump. Override to customize the default message loop.
CWinThread::SetThreadPrioritySets the priority of the current thread.
CWinThread::SuspendThreadIncrements a thread's suspend count.

Public Operators

NameDescription
CWinThread::operator HANDLERetrieves the handle of the CWinThread object.

Public Data Members

NameDescription
CWinThread::m_bAutoDeleteSpecifies whether to destroy the object at thread termination.
CWinThread::m_hThreadHandle to the current thread.
CWinThread::m_nThreadIDID of the current thread.
CWinThread::m_pActiveWndPointer to the main window of the container application when an OLE server is in-place active.
CWinThread::m_pMainWndHolds a pointer to the application's main window.

The main thread of execution is usually provided by an object derived from CWinApp; CWinApp is derived from CWinThread. Additional CWinThread objects allow multiple threads within a given application.

There are two general types of threads that CWinThread supports: worker threads and user-interface threads. Worker threads have no message pump: for example, a thread that performs background calculations in a spreadsheet application. User-interface threads have a message pump and process messages received from the system. CWinApp and classes derived from it are examples of user-interface threads. Other user-interface threads can also be derived directly from CWinThread.

Objects of class CWinThread typically exist for the duration of the thread. If you wish to modify this behavior, set m_bAutoDelete to FALSE.

The CWinThread class is necessary to make your code and MFC fully thread-safe. Thread-local data used by the framework to maintain thread-specific information is managed by CWinThread objects. Because of this dependence on CWinThread to handle thread-local data, any thread that uses MFC must be created by MFC. For example, a thread created by the run-time function _beginthread, _beginthreadex cannot use any MFC APIs.

To create a thread, call [AfxBeginThread]--brokenlink--(../Topic/not%20found.md#afxbeginthread). There are two forms, depending on whether you want a worker or user-interface thread. If you want a user-interface thread, pass to AfxBeginThread a pointer to the CRuntimeClass of your CWinThread-derived class. If you want to create a worker thread, pass to AfxBeginThread a pointer to the controlling function and the parameter to the controlling function. For both worker threads and user-interface threads, you can specify optional parameters that modify priority, stack size, creation flags, and security attributes. AfxBeginThread will return a pointer to your new CWinThread object.

Instead of calling AfxBeginThread, you can construct a CWinThread-derived object and then call CreateThread. This two-stage construction method is useful if you want to reuse the CWinThread object between successive creation and terminations of thread executions.

For more information on CWinThread, see the articles Multithreading with C++ and MFC, Multithreading: Creating User-Interface Threads, Multithreading: Creating Worker Threads, and Multithreading: How to Use the Synchronization Classes.

CObject

CCmdTarget

CWinThread

Header: afxwin.h

Creates a thread to execute within the address space of the calling process.

BOOL CreateThread(
    DWORD dwCreateFlags = 0,  
    UINT nStackSize = 0,  
    LPSECURITY_ATTRIBUTES lpSecurityAttrs = NULL);

Parameters

dwCreateFlags
Specifies an additional flag that controls the creation of the thread. This flag can contain one of two values:

  • CREATE_SUSPENDED Start the thread with a suspend count of one. Use CREATE_SUSPENDED if you want to initialize any member data of the CWinThread object, such as m_bAutoDelete or any members of your derived class, before the thread starts running. Once your initialization is complete, use the CWinThread::ResumeThread to start the thread running. The thread will not execute until CWinThread::ResumeThread is called.

  • 0 Start the thread immediately after creation.

nStackSize
Specifies the size in bytes of the stack for the new thread. If 0, the stack size defaults to the same size as that of the process's primary thread.

lpSecurityAttrs
Points to a SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES structure that specifies the security attributes for the thread.

Return Value

Nonzero if the thread is created successfully; otherwise 0.

Remarks

Use AfxBeginThread to create a thread object and execute it in one step. Use CreateThread if you want to reuse the thread object between successive creation and termination of thread executions.

Constructs a CWinThread object.

CWinThread();

Remarks

To begin the thread's execution, call the CreateThread member function. You will usually create threads by calling AfxBeginThread, which will call this constructor and CreateThread.

Called by the framework from within a rarely overridden Run member function to exit this instance of the thread, or if a call to InitInstance fails.

virtual int ExitInstance();

Return Value

The thread's exit code; 0 indicates no errors, and values greater than 0 indicate an error. This value can be retrieved by calling GetExitCodeThread.

Remarks

Do not call this member function from anywhere but within the Run member function. This member function is used only in user-interface threads.

The default implementation of this function deletes the CWinThread object if m_bAutoDelete is TRUE. Override this function if you wish to perform additional clean-up when your thread terminates. Your implementation of ExitInstance should call the base class's version after your code is executed.

If your application is an OLE server, call this function to retrieve a pointer to the active main window of the application instead of directly referring to the m_pMainWnd member of the application object.

virtual CWnd* GetMainWnd();

Return Value

This function returns a pointer to one of two types of windows. If your thread is part of an OLE server and has an object that is in-place active inside an active container, this function returns the CWinApp::m_pActiveWnd data member of the CWinThread object.

If there is no object that is in-place active within a container or your application is not an OLE server, this function returns the m_pMainWnd data member of your thread object.

Remarks

For user-interface threads, this is equivalent to directly referring to the m_pActiveWnd member of your application object.

If your application is not an OLE server, then calling this function is equivalent to directly referring to the m_pMainWnd member of your application object.

Override this function to modify the default behavior.

Gets the current thread priority level of this thread.

int GetThreadPriority();

Return Value

The current thread priority level within its priority class. The value returned will be one of the following, listed from highest priority to lowest:

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_TIME_CRITICAL

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_HIGHEST

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_NORMAL

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_BELOW_NORMAL

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_LOWEST

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_IDLE

For more information on these priorities, see SetThreadPriority in the Windows SDK.

InitInstance must be overridden to initialize each new instance of a user-interface thread.

virtual BOOL InitInstance();

Return Value

Nonzero if initialization is successful; otherwise 0.

Remarks

Typically, you override InitInstance to perform tasks that must be completed when a thread is first created.

This member function is used only in user-interface threads. Perform initialization of worker threads in the controlling function passed to [AfxBeginThread]--brokenlink--(../Topic/not%20found.md#afxbeginthread).

Override this function to keep OnIdle from being called after specific messages are generated.

virtual BOOL IsIdleMessage(MSG* pMsg);

Parameters

pMsg
Points to the current message being processed.

Return Value

Nonzero if OnIdle should be called after processing message; otherwise 0.

Remarks

The default implementation does not call OnIdle after redundant mouse messages and messages generated by blinking carets.

If an application has created a short timer, OnIdle will be called frequently, causing performance problems. To improve such an application's performance, override IsIdleMessage in the application's CWinApp-derived class to check for WM_TIMER messages as follows:

BOOL CMyWinApp::IsIdleMessage(MSG* pMsg)
{
   if (!CWinApp::IsIdleMessage(pMsg) || pMsg->message == WM_TIMER)
      return FALSE;
   else
      return TRUE;
}

Handling WM_TIMER in this fashion will improve performance of applications that use short timers.

Specifies whether the CWinThread object should be automatically deleted at thread termination.

BOOL m_bAutoDelete;  

Remarks

The m_bAutoDelete data member is a public variable of type BOOL.

The value of m_bAutoDelete does not affect how the underlying thread handle is closed. The thread handle is always closed when the CWinThread object is destroyed.

Handle to the thread attached to this CWinThread.

HANDLE m_hThread;  

Remarks

The m_hThread data member is a public variable of type HANDLE. It is only valid if underlying thread currently exists.

ID of the thread attached to this CWinThread.

DWORD m_nThreadID;  

Remarks

The m_nThreadID data member is a public variable of type DWORD. It is only valid if underlying thread currently exists.

Example

See the example for [AfxGetThread]--brokenlink--(../Topic/not%20found.md#afxgetthread).

Use this data member to store a pointer to your thread's active window object.

CWnd* m_pActiveWnd;  

Remarks

The Microsoft Foundation Class Library will automatically terminate your thread when the window referred to by m_pActiveWnd is closed. If this thread is the primary thread for an application, the application will also be terminated. If this data member is NULL, the active window for the application's CWinApp object will be inherited. m_pActiveWnd is a public variable of type CWnd*.

Typically, you set this member variable when you override InitInstance. In a worker thread, the value of this data member is inherited from its parent thread.

Use this data member to store a pointer to your thread's main window object.

CWnd* m_pMainWnd;  

Remarks

The Microsoft Foundation Class Library will automatically terminate your thread when the window referred to by m_pMainWnd is closed. If this thread is the primary thread for an application, the application will also be terminated. If this data member is NULL, the main window for the application's CWinApp object will be used to determine when to terminate the thread. m_pMainWnd is a public variable of type CWnd*.

Typically, you set this member variable when you override InitInstance. In a worker thread, the value of this data member is inherited from its parent thread.

Override this member function to perform idle-time processing.

virtual BOOL OnIdle(LONG lCount);

Parameters

lCount
A counter incremented each time OnIdle is called when the thread's message queue is empty. This count is reset to 0 each time a new message is processed. You can use the lCount parameter to determine the relative length of time the thread has been idle without processing a message.

Return Value

Nonzero to receive more idle processing time; 0 if no more idle processing time is needed.

Remarks

OnIdle is called in the default message loop when the thread's message queue is empty. Use your override to call your own background idle-handler tasks.

OnIdle should return 0 to indicate that no additional idle processing time is required. The lCount parameter is incremented each time OnIdle is called when the message queue is empty and is reset to 0 each time a new message is processed. You can call your different idle routines based on this count.

The default implementation of this member function frees temporary objects and unused dynamic link libraries from memory.

This member function is used only in user-interface threads.

Because the application cannot process messages until OnIdle returns, do not perform lengthy tasks in this function.

Retrieves the handle of the CWinThread object.

Return Value

If successful, the handle of the thread object; otherwise, NULL.

Remarks

Use the handle to directly call Windows APIs.

Called to post a user-defined message to another CWinThread object.

BOOL PostThreadMessage(
    UINT message,  
    WPARAM wParam,  
    LPARAM lParam);

Parameters

message
ID of the user-defined message.

wParam
First message parameter.

lParam
Second message parameter.

Return Value

Nonzero if successful; otherwise 0.

Remarks

The posted message is mapped to the proper message handler by the message map macro ON_THREAD_MESSAGE.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

When calling the Windows PostThreadMessage function within an MFC application, the MFC message handlers are not called. For more information, see the Knowledge Base article, "PRB: MFC Message Handler Not Called with PostThreadMessage()" (Q142415).

Override this function to filter window messages before they are dispatched to the Windows functions TranslateMessage and DispatchMessage.

virtual BOOL PreTranslateMessage(MSG* pMsg);

Parameters

pMsg
Points to a MSG structure containing the message to process.

Return Value

Nonzero if the message was fully processed in PreTranslateMessage and should not be processed further. Zero if the message should be processed in the normal way.

Remarks

This member function is used only in user-interface threads.

The framework's hook function calls this member function to filter and respond to certain Windows messages.

virtual BOOL ProcessMessageFilter(
    int code,  
    LPMSG lpMsg);

Parameters

code
Specifies a hook code. This member function uses the code to determine how to process lpMsg.

lpMsg
A pointer to a Windows MSG structure.

Return Value

Nonzero if the message is processed; otherwise 0.

Remarks

A hook function processes events before they are sent to the application's normal message processing.

If you override this advanced feature, be sure to call the base-class version to maintain the framework's hook processing.

The framework calls this member function whenever the handler does not catch an exception thrown in one of your thread's message or command handlers.

virtual LRESULT ProcessWndProcException(
    CException* e,  
    const MSG* pMsg);

Parameters

e
Points to an unhandled exception.

pMsg
Points to a MSG structure containing information about the windows message that caused the framework to throw an exception.

Return Value

–1 if a WM_CREATE exception is generated; otherwise 0.

Remarks

Do not call this member function directly.

The default implementation of this member function handles only exceptions generated from the following messages:

CommandAction
WM_CREATEFail.
WM_PAINTValidate the affected window, thus preventing another WM_PAINT message from being generated.

Override this member function to provide global handling of your exceptions. Call the base functionality only if you wish to display the default behavior.

This member function is used only in threads that have a message pump.

Contains the thread's message loop.

virtual BOOL PumpMessage();

Remarks

PumpMessage contains the thread's message loop. PumpMessage is called by CWinThread to pump the thread's messages. You can call PumpMessage directly to force messages to be processed, or you can override PumpMessage to change its default behavior.

Calling PumpMessage directly and overriding its default behavior is recommended for advanced users only.

Called to resume execution of a thread that was suspended by the SuspendThread member function, or a thread created with the CREATE_SUSPENDED flag.

DWORD ResumeThread();

Return Value

The thread's previous suspend count if successful; 0xFFFFFFFF otherwise. If the return value is zero, the current thread was not suspended. If the return value is one, the thread was suspended, but is now restarted. Any return value greater than one means the thread remains suspended.

Remarks

The suspend count of the current thread is reduced by one. If the suspend count is reduced to zero, the thread resumes execution; otherwise the thread remains suspended.

Provides a default message loop for user-interface threads.

virtual int Run();

Return Value

An int value that is returned by the thread. This value can be retrieved by calling GetExitCodeThread.

Remarks

Run acquires and dispatches Windows messages until the application receives a WM_QUIT message. If the thread's message queue currently contains no messages, Run calls OnIdle to perform idle-time processing. Incoming messages go to the PreTranslateMessage member function for special processing and then to the Windows function TranslateMessage for standard keyboard translation. Finally, the DispatchMessage Windows function is called.

Run is rarely overridden, but you can override it to implement special behavior.

This member function is used only in user-interface threads.

This function sets the priority level of the current thread within its priority class.

BOOL SetThreadPriority(int nPriority);

Parameters

nPriority
Specifies the new thread priority level within its priority class. This parameter must be one of the following values, listed from highest priority to lowest:

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_TIME_CRITICAL

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_HIGHEST

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_NORMAL

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_BELOW_NORMAL

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_LOWEST

  • THREAD_PRIORITY_IDLE

For more information on these priorities, see SetThreadPriority in the Windows SDK.

Return Value

Nonzero if function was successful; otherwise 0.

Remarks

It can only be called after CreateThread successfully returns.

Increments the current thread's suspend count.

DWORD SuspendThread();

Return Value

The thread's previous suspend count if successful; 0xFFFFFFFF otherwise.

Remarks

If any thread has a suspend count above zero, that thread does not execute. The thread can be resumed by calling the ResumeThread member function.

CCmdTarget Class
Hierarchy Chart
CWinApp Class
CCmdTarget Class

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