How to launch a function at regular time intervals ?

Dave Angel davea at
Thu Aug 13 02:30:16 CEST 2009

David wrote:
> Hi all, I'm trying to launch a function at regular time intervals but
> cannot find the way to do it. Here is the code I wrote (time_interval
> is a user defined variable in seconds):
> while(1)
> timestamp_seconds=timestamp.hour*3600+timestamp.minute*60+timestamp.second
>   if timestamp_seconds % time_interval == 0: ****Call Function****
> This does not work because during the second at which the condition
> holds true, there is time to call the function several times. Since I
> want to have this function called only once every x seconds, I tried
> to add the following condition:
> if timestamp_seconds % time_interval ==0 & timestamp.microsecond == 0
> But it seems this second condition hardly ever happens (i.e. the
> timestamp variable is not updated every microsecond, therefore it can
> be 9998 then jump directly to 0003 for instance).
> Has anyone run into a similar problem (and solved it) ?
> Thanks for your help
I'm assuming you want to call it every time_interval seconds, on 
average, with a little jitter allowed on each call, but keeping correct 
long term.  In other words, if one call is a little late, you want the 
next one to still happen as close to on-time as possible.

The general outline is something like (untested):

times_called = 0           #number of times function has been called
start_time = now
while True:
     elapsed = now - start_time
     int_elapsed = int(elapsed/time_interval)
     for times_called in range(times_called, int_elapsed):
     sleep(time_interval/10)           #this might give us 10% jitter, 
which is usually fine


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