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    QList is a very very fast classic queue: items are appended with push() and the oldest waiting item is retrieved with shift(). Items may be prepended with unshift; the last item can be retrieved with pop. QList is implemented as resizable circular buffer mapped into an Array.

    A remove() method was considered but it slowed the fast path too much for the little benefit it provided. See Discussion, below.

        var List = require('qlist');
        var q = new List();
        q.shift();      // => 1


    The included benchmark script measures the speed of pushes, shifts, and push/shift pairs (the expected use cases for this data structure). (Timed with node-v5.10.1 on a 3.5GHz AMD Phenom II B55)

        node benchmark/benchmark.js qlist  // 49 / 138 / 81 m/s
        node benchmark/benchmark.js double-ended-queue  // 12 / 150 / 48 m/s

    Tested with the benchmark included in the double-ended-queue repo,

    1000 items in the queue

    qlist x 24,574,632 ops/sec ±0.33% (102 runs sampled)
    double-ended-queue x 13,737,005 ops/sec ±0.12% (102 runs sampled)
    node-deque x 6,033,985 ops/sec ±15.86% (94 runs sampled)
    built-in array x 1,477,859 ops/sec ±0.14% (98 runs sampled)

    2 million items in the queue

    qlist x 24,170,807 ops/sec ±0.12% (103 runs sampled)
    double-ended-queue x 14,197,766 ops/sec ±0.17% (100 runs sampled)
    node-deque x 1,851,165 ops/sec ±6.65% (79 runs sampled)
    built-in array x 80.35 ops/sec ±0.49% (71 runs sampled)


    QList was developed as part of an investigation into how setImmediate() could be made to run faster. The key observation was that a circular buffer is faster than an array or a linked list for storing transient data. QList is implemented as circular buffer inside an array that is extended as needed.

    Initially designed as a drop-in replacement for the nodejs immediate queue (see the qtimers package), it had the same append / peek / remove / shift / isEmpty methods. During the work with setImmediate, the remove method was found to be redundant, and instead removal was folded into the setImmediate callback validity test. (See the qtimers package.)

    QList is implemented as a double-ended queue.


    new List( )

    Create a new list.

    push( item )

    Add an item to the end of the list. append() is recognized as synonym for push.

    pop( )

    Remove and return the last item on the list, else undefined if empty list.

    shift( )

    Remove and return the first item on the list, else undefined if empty list.

    unshift( item )

    Add an item at the beginning of the list. This item would be returned by shift before any of the other items already on the list.

    peek( )

    Returns the first item on the list without removing it.

    peekAt( n )

    Returns the n-th item on the list. Zero is the first element, 1 is the second, etc. Elements at negative offsets are that many from the end: -1 is one before the end (the last element), -2 is two before the end (one before last), etc.

    This method implements peek() (peekAt(0)), peekTail() (peekAt(-1)) and peekIdx(ix) (peekAt(ix)). A dedicated method is faster than testing for an optional argument inside peek().

    setAt( n, value )

    Change the value of the n-th item on the list. N is the element specifier like for peekAt. This call will not extend the length of the list. Returns the assigned value or undefined if n was out of range.

    isEmpty( )

    test whether the list is empty, return true / false.

    size( )

    Return the number of items on the list, or 0 zero if empty. For historical reasons, also available as length().

    toArray( )

    Copy out the contents of the list into an array and return the array.

    fromArray( array )

    Set the list contents from the given array. Any existing contents are discarded.


    • implement a maxLength capacity limit for a true circular buffer

    Related Work


    npm i qlist

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