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QLists with signed int instead of unsigned int?

  • Why does QT use signed int for indexing an QList or other form of listed object?

    QList<double> list;
    int index = 0;
    list[index]  = 1.05;

    Arrays always start at Index 0, therefore I can't see any reason, why signed int is used.
    The same applies for the return value of member functions like:


    The list can't be smaller than 0.

    Is there any logical reason of taking signed values?
    I have to convert them everywhere, because I use always unsigned values for things which can't handle negative numbers.

    Thanks for your answer

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Is there any logical reason of taking signed values?

    Yes, e.g. to be able to return -1 on error.
    Why do you think you need it? Are you sure you have (more than) 4GB of contiguous memory?
    You can take a look at the devel mailing list archives - this question is discussed there now and then.

  • @Alex-Krieg

    Another example:
    IDs of QButtonGroup start at -2 and decrease for every new button added to this group (default behavior).
    -1 is to auto-assign an ID. User-defined IDs should start at 0 (increasing).

    So there are some cases where the sign matters.
    (In addition to the -1 which is returned e.g. as error code)

  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Even if the other already explained it...
    Think of it as a role. The role of being an index type.
    We need sometimes to flag the index as invalid.
    And since none ever uses negative indexes, using signed can be used for that.

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