Can you remove elements from a std::list while iterating through it?


Question

I've got code that looks like this:

for (std::list<item*>::iterator i=items.begin();i!=items.end();i++)
{
    bool isActive = (*i)->update();
    //if (!isActive) 
    //  items.remove(*i); 
    //else
       other_code_involving(*i);
}
items.remove_if(CheckItemNotActive);

I'd like remove inactive items immediately after update them, inorder to avoid walking the list again. But if I add the commented-out lines, I get an error when I get to i++: "List iterator not incrementable". I tried some alternates which didn't increment in the for statement, but I couldn't get anything to work.

What's the best way to remove items as you are walking a std::list?

1
229
2/27/2009 7:08:20 PM

Accepted Answer

You have to increment the iterator first (with i++) and then remove the previous element (e.g., by using the returned value from i++). You can change the code to a while loop like so:

std::list<item*>::iterator i = items.begin();
while (i != items.end())
{
    bool isActive = (*i)->update();
    if (!isActive)
    {
        items.erase(i++);  // alternatively, i = items.erase(i);
    }
    else
    {
        other_code_involving(*i);
        ++i;
    }
}
269
2/27/2009 9:15:23 PM

You want to do:

i= items.erase(i);

That will correctly update the iterator to point to the location after the iterator you removed.


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