[Python-ideas] An async facade? (was Re: [Python-Dev] Socket timeout and completion based sockets)
Steve.Dower at microsoft.com
Fri Nov 30 18:57:04 CET 2012
Trent Nelson wrote:
> TL;DR version:
> Provide an async interface that is implicitly asynchronous;
> all calls return immediately, callbacks are used to handle
This is the central idea of what I've been advocating - the use of Future. Rather than adding an extra parameter to the initial call, asynchronous methods return an object that can have callbacks added.
> The biggest benefit is that no assumption is made as to how the
> asynchronicity is achieved. Note that I didn't mention IOCP or
> kqueue or epoll once. Those are all implementation details that
> the writer of an asynchronous Python app doesn't need to care about.
I think this is why I've been largely ignored (except by Guido) - I don't even mention sockets, let alone the implementation details :). There are all sorts of operations that can be run asynchronously that do not involve sockets, though it seems that the driving force behind most of the effort is just to make really fast web servers.
My code contribution is at http://bitbucket.org/stevedower/wattle, though I have not updated it in a while and there are certainly aspects that I would change. You may find it interesting if you haven't seen it yet.
From: Python-ideas [mailto:python-ideas-bounces+steve.dower=microsoft.com at python.org] On Behalf Of Trent Nelson
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 0814
To: Guido van Rossum
Cc: Glyph; python-ideas at python.org
Subject: [Python-ideas] An async facade? (was Re: [Python-Dev] Socket timeout and completion based sockets)
[ It's tough coming up with unique subjects for these async
discussions. I've dropped python-dev and cc'd python-ideas
instead as the stuff below follows on from the recent msgs. ]
Provide an async interface that is implicitly asynchronous;
all calls return immediately, callbacks are used to handle
How the asynchronicity (not a word, I know) is achieved is
an implementation detail, and will differ for each platform.
(Windows will be able to leverage all its async APIs to full
extent, Linux et al can keep mimicking asynchronicity via
the usual non-blocking + multiplexing (poll/kqueue etc),
thread pools, etc.)
On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:15:07AM -0800, Glyph wrote:
> On Nov 28, 2012, at 12:04 PM, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> I would also like to bring up <https://github.com/lvh/async-pep> again.
So, I spent yesterday working on the IOCP/async stuff. The saw this
PEP and the sample async/abstract.py. That got me thinking: why don't
we have a low-level async facade/API? Something where all calls are
On systems with extensive support for asynchronous 'stuff', primarily
Windows and AIX/Solaris to a lesser extent, we'd be able to leverage
the platform-provided async facilities to full effect.
On other platforms, we'd fake it, just like we do now, with select,
poll/epoll, kqueue and non-blocking sockets.
Consider the following:
__slots__ = [
def getaddrinfo(host, port, ..., cb):
def getaddrinfo_then_connect(.., callbacks=(cb1, cb2))
def accept(sock, cb):
def accept_then_write(sock, buf, (cb1, cb2)):
def accept_then_expect_line(sock, line, (cb1, cb2)):
def accept_then_expect_multiline_regex(sock, regex, cb):
def read_until(fd_or_sock, bytes, cb):
def read_all(fd_or_sock, cb):
return self.read_until(fd_or_sock, EOF, cb)
def read_until_lineglob(fd_or_sock, cb):
def read_until_regex(fd_or_sock, cb):
def read_chunk(fd_or_sock, chunk_size, cb):
def write(fd_or_sock, buf, cb):
def write_then_expect_line(fd_or_sock, buf, (cb1, cb2)):
def submit_work(callable, cb):
"""Run the event loop once."""
"""Keep running the event loop until exit."""
All methods always take at least one callback. Chained methods can
take multiple callbacks (i.e. accept_then_expect_line()). You fill
in the success, failure (both callables) and timeout (an int) slots.
The engine will populate cb.cancel with a callable that you can call
at any time to (try and) cancel the IO operation. (How quickly that
works depends on the underlying implementation.)
I like this approach for two reasons: a) it allows platforms with
great async support to work at their full potential, and b) it
doesn't leak implementation details like non-blocking sockets, fds,
multiplexing (poll/kqueue/select, IOCP, etc). Those are all details
that are taken care of by the underlying implementation.
getaddrinfo is a good example here. Guido, in tulip, you have this
def getaddrinfo(host, port, af=0, socktype=0, proto=0):
infos = yield from scheduling.call_in_thread(
host, port, af,
That's very implementation specific. It assumes the only way to
perform an async getaddrinfo is by calling it from a separate
thread. On Windows, there's native support for async getaddrinfo(),
which we wouldn't be able to leverage here.
The biggest benefit is that no assumption is made as to how the
asynchronicity is achieved. Note that I didn't mention IOCP or
kqueue or epoll once. Those are all implementation details that
the writer of an asynchronous Python app doesn't need to care about.
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