Channels in V are very similar to channels in Go. They are the preferred way to communicate between threads.

Channels are a typed conduit through which you can send and receive values with the channel (<-) operator.

Creating a channel

To create a channel of the desired type, use chan T syntax, where T is the type of values that will be transferred over the channel.

ch := chan int{} // channel of ints ch2 := chan f64{} // channel of f64s

When creating, you can specify the length of the buffer using the cap field:

ch := chan int{cap: 100} // channel of ints with buffer length 100

This will create a buffered channel, which we will discuss further.

Although we will be sending values to the channels, there is no need to declare channels as mut.

Created channels can be passed to threads as normal variables:

fn f(ch chan int) { // ... } fn main() { ch := chan int{} spawn f(ch) // ... }

Sending and receiving

Values can be sent to a channel using the arrow operator <-:

ch <- 5

Or obtained from a channel:

i := <-ch


By default, when you send a value to a channel, the sending channel blocks until another thread receives the value from the channel. This allows threads to be synchronized without the use of explicit locks or condition variables.

fn sum(values []int, res_ch chan int) { mut sum := 0 for val in values { sum += val } res_ch <- sum } fn main() { s := [1, 2, 3, 4] ch := chan int{} spawn sum(s[..s.len / 2], ch) spawn sum(s[s.len / 2..], ch) res1 := <-ch // wait for result res2 := <-ch // wait for result println(res1 + res2) }

The example code sums the numbers in a slice, distributing the work between two threads. Once both threads have completed their computation, it calculates the final result.

Buffered and unbuffered channels

As already described at the beginning, when creating a channel, you can specify the length of the buffer. Such channels are called buffered.

Unlike unbuffered channels, when sending a value to a buffered channel, the sender thread is blocked only if the buffer is full.

The receiver will block when trying to read if the buffer is empty:

fn main() { s := [1, 2, 3, 4] ch := chan int{cap: 2} ch <- 1 ch <- 2 println(<-ch) println(<-ch) println('done') }

Try adding another value to the ch pipe to refill the buffer and see what happens.

Closing a channel

A channel can be closed to indicate that no more values will be sent to it. Attempting to send a value to a closed channel will cause a panic (except select and try_push()).

The receiver can check if the channel is closed using the or block:

fn main() { ch := chan int{} ch.close() m := <-ch or { println('channel has been closed') -1 } println(m) } // channel has been closed // -1

If you try to read a value from a closed channel, you will get the Zero-value for the channel type. In this case, the thread will not be blocked.

Only the sender should close a channel, never the receiver.

Read all values from a channel until it's closed

Closing a channel is also useful to stop reading values from a channel using a for loop.

In the following example, we read all values from the ch channel as long as it has values and is not closed:

fn main() { ch := chan int{cap: 5} for i in 0 .. 5 { ch <- i } ch.close() for { m := <-ch or { break } println(m) } println('done') }

Note that we use an infinite loop until the channel is closed and the or block is executed.

Channels aren't like files; you don't usually need to close them. Closing is only necessary when the receiver must be told there are no more values coming, such as to terminate a range loop.

Channel Select

The select expression allows monitoring several channels at the same time without a noticeable CPU load. It consists of a list of possible cases and associated branches of statements, like a match expression:

import time fn fibonacci(c chan int, quit chan int) { mut x, mut y := 0, 1 for { select { c <- x { x, y = y, x + y } _ := <-quit { println('quit') return } } } } fn main() { ch := chan int{} quit := chan int{} spawn fn [ch, quit] () { for _ in 0 .. 7 { println(<-ch) } quit <- 0 }() fibonacci(ch, quit) }

Timeout branch

The select expression can also have a timeout branch, which will be executed if none of the branches is executed within the specified time. If no timeout branch is specified, then select waits for an unlimited amount of time.

import time fn main() { ch := chan int{} select { val := <-ch { println(val) } 2 * time.second { println('timeout') } } } // timeout

In the example above, the timeout branch will be executed in 2 seconds, because nothing will be sent to the ch channel and the val := <-ch branch will not be executed.

Else branch

The else branch will execute immediately if none of the channels in the branches are currently ready.

fn main() { ch := chan int{} select { val := <-ch { println(val) } else { println('no values in ch for now') } } } // no values in ch for now

else cannot be used together with timeout within the same select expression

Select as an expression

The select can be used as an expression of type bool that becomes false if all channels are closed:

if select { ch <- a { // ... } } { // channel was open } else { // channel is closed }

Special Channel Features

For special purposes, there are some builtin fields and methods:

struct Abc { x int } a := 2.13 ch := chan f64{} res := ch.try_push(a) // try to perform `ch <- a` println(res) l := ch.len // number of elements in queue c := ch.cap // maximum queue length is_closed := ch.closed // bool flag – has `ch` been closed println(is_closed) println(l) println(c) mut b := Abc{} ch2 := chan Abc{} res2 := ch2.try_pop(mut b) // try to perform `b = <-ch2` println(res2)

The try_push/pop() methods will return immediately with one of the results .success, .not_ready or .closed – dependent on whether the object has been transferred or the reason why not.

Usage of these methods and fields in production is not recommended — algorithms based on them are often subject to race conditions.

Especially .len and .closed should not be used to make decisions. Use or branches, error propagation or select instead.