1. RunTask, Coherent Time Task Scheduler

1.1. Introduction

RunTask is a python module implementing a coherent time task scheduler in a very simple way. The execution order of all controlled tasks is stricktly predictable and execution times are aligned to given reference times. The scheduling time can be speed up or slow down with respect to the system time. It can be also moved forward and backward by an offset addition. This can useful for debugging events with periods that are too long or too short to be seen in a comfortable way.

An example. Suppose to have tasks A, B that need to be run at the beginning of each minute, in that order. In addition, suppose to have tasks C, D that need to be run at the begining of each second, in that order. Moreover, since the beginning of each minute is coincident with the beginning of a second, it is wanted that the task group A, B is run before the task group C, D. RunTask is designed to fulfill all these kind of requirements.

This is the documentation for version 0.4.0.

RunTask is released under the GNU General Public License.

At present, version 0.4.0, RunTask is in alpha status. Any debugging aid is welcome.

For any question, suggestion, contribution contact the author Fabrizio Pollastri <f.pollastri_a_t_inrim.it>.

1.2. Features

  • Tasks are callables with theirs arguments.
  • Task execution timing can be choosen among different schemes: fixed period, random period, aligned to time origin or unaligned (immediate execution). Periodic executions can be forever or for a given number of runs, at least one (single shot).
  • The speed and the offset of the scheduling time can be adjusted with respect to the system time.
  • Each task execution time is computed from the scheduling time, so the phase between different execution periods can be easily controlled.
  • When a task execution time is delayed by cpu load more then the task period, that execution is skipped.
  • All controlled tasks are run within the same thread, so with respect to each other, they are thread safe.
  • Tasks having the same execution time are grouped by run period and executed from longest to shortest period. Within each group, tasks are executed following the task registration order.
  • Any number of RunTask instances can be alive in the same program.

1.3. Caveat

RunTask is not a preemptive scheduler, so all tasks are run sequentially when their run time is reached.

Since all tasks are run within the same thread, all tasks must be non-blocking.

The tasks controlled by RunTask are thread safe with respect to each other. Since, RunTask is instantiated by a main program, the controlled tasks are NOT thread safe with respect to the main program.

At present, RunTask has a static design: all task must be registered at program beginning and cannot be changed during execution.

Threads in python can be run only serially, so they do not benefit from multiprocessor architectures.

1.4. Requirements

To run the code, Python 2.6 or later must already be installed. The latest release is recommended. Python is available from http://www.python.org/.

1.5. Installation

  1. Open a shell.

  2. Get root privileges and install the package. Command:

    pip install runtask

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