Variant is the most important datatype of Godot, it’s the most important class in the engine. A Variant takes up only 20 bytes and can store almost any engine datatype inside of it. Variants are rarely used to hold information for long periods of time, instead they are used mainly for communication, editing, serialization and generally moving data around.
A Variant can:
- Przechowywać prawie każdy typ danych
- Perform operations between many variants (GDScript uses Variant as its atomic/native datatype).
- Mieć obliczony hash, więc może być szybko porównywany z innymi
- Jest używany do bezpiecznej konwersji między typami
- Be used to abstract calling methods and their arguments (Godot exports all its functions through variants)
- Be used to defer calls or move data between threads.
- Być serializowany jako binarne dane zapisywane na dysk lub przesyłane przez sieć.
- Be serialized to text and use it for printing values and editable settings.
- Work as an exported property, so the editor can edit it universally.
- Używane dla słowników, tablic, parserów itp.
Basically, thanks to the Variant class, writing Godot itself was a much, much easier task, as it allows for highly dynamic constructs not common of C++ with little effort. Become a friend of Variant today.
Containers: Dictionary and Array¶
Both are implemented using variants. A Dictionary can match any datatype used as key to any other datatype. An Array just holds an array of Variants. Of course, a Variant can also hold a Dictionary and an Array inside, making it even more flexible.
Modifications to a container will modify all references to it. A Mutex should be created to lock it if multi threaded access is desired.
Copy-on-write (COW) mode support for containers was dropped with Godot 3.0.