Cancel threads after timeout

hyperboreean hyperboreean at
Sat Jan 26 14:14:08 CET 2013

Here's the use case I want to implement - I have to generate a report
from multiple database servers. This report should be generated every 2
hours. Sometimes it happens that a query on one of the database servers
takes longer than expected and impedes the generation of this report
(that's right, the queries are ran sequential). What I am trying to
achieve is to parallelize the queries on each database server and to be
able to cancel one of them if it takes longer than X minutes.
threading.Thread doesn't support this and seems that in
general programming languages don't implement a way to cancel threads
from the outside.

Now, I've read all the stackoverflow threads about killing a thread,
canceling a thread after a timeout, but all of them imply that you are
able to check from within the thread if you should end the computation
or not - that's not really my case, where the computation is a SQL

So, what I have in mind is something like: the main loop starts a
threading.Thread which in turn is responsible for starting another
thread in which the actual computation happens (could be a
threading.Thread or a multiprocessing.Process) *and* checks if the
specified timeout has passed. If the time is up, it exits, letting the
main loop know.

Lots of words, no code - let me know if you have any suggestions, ideas
to this rant.


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