RFC: How to fix a tricky leak in QFormLayout?

We have a nasty leak in QFormLayout::setWidget(). In setWidget(), we create the QWidgetItemV2 corresponding to the passed QWidget, and pass that on to Private::setItem, which has a bunch of error returns (guard clauses) that do not delete the item, among them negative row index and cell already occupied.

We could easily fix that missing delete, but this function is also used by setLayout(), say, where the item is the layout.

Conceptually deleting that item (= the nested layout) is completely OK, because the user should be able to rely on the form layout to take ownership of the nested layout, without ifs and buts.

But then we have code in tst_qformlayout that breaks. Simplified, it reads:

   QFormLayout layout;
   QHBoxLayout l4;
   layout.addLayout(-1, QFormLayout::FieldRole, &l4);

I guess you spot the problem? If l4 had been added, everything would’ve been peachy: The QHBoxLayout destructor unregistered itself from layout, which does not attempt to delete l4 when it itself is deleted.

But if l4 is not added for some reason, like in the test code above, the fixed code will attempt to delete l4, which is undefined behaviour, of course (double-delete).

I think such broken code deserves to be broken, for the greater good of fixing a resource leak. Esp. since a double-delete should complain much louder than a leak, and the API user can do something about the double-delete while she can’t do anything about the leak (the pointer is not reachable from outside QFormLayout).

I feel uneasy about adding this to 5.6 LTS, though, so I’ll make a minimal fix there, just for setWidget().

What do you think about the larger fix?

About marcmutz
Marc Mutz is a Senior Software Engineer, Trainer, and Consultant with KDAB.

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