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This module provides an efficient queue capable of managing thousands of concurrent animations, while guaranteeing consistent, synchronized timing with concurrent or staged animations. Internally, it uses requestAnimationFrame for fluid animation (if available), switching to setTimeout for delays longer than 24ms.


Source · Returns the current time as defined by if available, and if not.

js // 1236.3000000715256

The current time is updated at the start of a frame; it is thus consistent during the frame, and any timers scheduled during the same frame will be synchronized. If this method is called outside of a frame, such as in response to a user event, the current time is calculated and then fixed until the next frame, again ensuring consistent timing during event handling.

timer(callback, delay, time)

Source · Schedules a new timer, invoking the specified callback repeatedly until the timer is stopped. An optional numeric delay in milliseconds may be specified to invoke the given callback after a delay; if delay is not specified, it defaults to zero. The delay is relative to the specified time in milliseconds; if time is not specified, it defaults to now.

The callback is passed the (apparent) elapsed time since the timer became active. For example:

const t = d3.timer((elapsed) => {
  if (elapsed > 200) t.stop();
}, 150);

This produces roughly the following console output:


(The exact values may vary depending on your JavaScript runtime and what else your computer is doing.) Note that the first elapsed time is 3ms: this is the elapsed time since the timer started, not since the timer was scheduled. Here the timer started 150ms after it was scheduled due to the specified delay. The apparent elapsed time may be less than the true elapsed time if the page is backgrounded and requestAnimationFrame is paused; in the background, apparent time is frozen.

If timer is called within the callback of another timer, the new timer callback (if eligible as determined by the specified delay and time) will be invoked immediately at the end of the current frame, rather than waiting until the next frame. Within a frame, timer callbacks are guaranteed to be invoked in the order they were scheduled, regardless of their start time.

timer.restart(callback, delay, time)

Source · Restart a timer with the specified callback and optional delay and time. This is equivalent to stopping this timer and creating a new timer with the specified arguments, although this timer retains the original invocation priority.


Source · Stops this timer, preventing subsequent callbacks. This method has no effect if the timer has already stopped.


Source · Immediately invoke any eligible timer callbacks. Note that zero-delay timers are normally first executed after one frame (~17ms). This can cause a brief flicker because the browser renders the page twice: once at the end of the first event loop, then again immediately on the first timer callback. By flushing the timer queue at the end of the first event loop, you can run any zero-delay timers immediately and avoid the flicker.

timeout(callback, delay, time)

Source · Like timer, except the timer automatically stops on its first callback. A suitable replacement for setTimeout that is guaranteed to not run in the background. The callback is passed the elapsed time.

interval(callback, delay, time)

Source · Like timer, except the callback is invoked only every delay milliseconds; if delay is not specified, this is equivalent to timer. A suitable replacement for setInterval that is guaranteed to not run in the background. The callback is passed the elapsed time.