[New-bugs-announce] [issue46994] Accept explicit contextvars.Context in asyncio create_task() API

Andrew Svetlov report at bugs.python.org
Sat Mar 12 05:33:08 EST 2022

New submission from Andrew Svetlov <andrew.svetlov at gmail.com>:

Now asyncio creates a new context copy on task creation.

It is the perfect behavior *by default* and should stay as is.

However, sometimes passing an explicit context into a task and using back the context modified by task code is desired.

The most obvious use-case is testing: both unittest and pytest have multi-phase test initialization (asyncSetUp() methods and async fixtures correspondingly).  If asyncSetUp() updates context variable -- test code expects to see this change.

Currently, unittest runs the setup-test-cleanup chain in a single task and uses an internal queue to push a new coroutine for execution and get results back. It works but is cumbersome.

Another solution is to create a task per test execution step and wrap the task creation with Context.run(). The problem is in getting the updated context back. A task creates a context copy on starting, thus the modified context is stored in the task internal attribute only. To get it back a trampoline async function should be used, e.g.

async def wrapper(coro):
        return await coro
        context = contextvars.copy_context()
        # store the context copy somewhere

Again, it looks more complicated as it should be.

The proposal is: 
1. Add 'context' keyword-only argument to asyncio.create_task() and loop.create_task().
2. Use this context if explicitly passed, create a copy of the current context otherwise.

The proposal is backward-compatible. Low-level API (call_soon(), call_later() etc.) already accept 'context' argument.

The attached PR demonstrates how the proposed API simplifies unittest.IsolatedAsyncioTestCase internals.

components: asyncio
messages: 414988
nosy: asvetlov, yselivanov
priority: normal
severity: normal
status: open
title: Accept explicit contextvars.Context in asyncio create_task() API
type: enhancement
versions: Python 3.11

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