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Martin Atkins > Util-Task-0.01_1 > Util::Task



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Module Version: 0.01_1   Source  


Util::Task - Abstract class representing a possibly-coalescable task.


    my $task = Util::Task::SomeSubclass->new();


The goal of this class is to allow work to be described in advance of actually doing the work. The first implication of this is that expensive work (usually I/O) is explicitly executed rather than hidden away behind innocent-looking accessor methods.

The second implication is that tasks can, in theory, be executed in batch by coalescing atomic operations into single multi-request calls.


This is an abstract class. Subclasses should override the following methods as appropriate.


Actually run the deferred task and return the result. This is just a convenience method for running a single task; it actually does an execute_multi call behind the scenes. Subclasses should not override this unless they have a good reason to; override execute_multi instead.


When called in batch via Util::Task::Multi, the system will attempt to coalesce multiple atomic requests into a single batch request.

To do this it needs two pieces of information: the class that will handle the resulting batch request, and a batching key that allows that class to batch its tasks into multiple distinct buckets. Tasks within a given multi-task set that have the same ($class, $task_key) tuple will ultimately be handled by a single call to $class-execute_multi>.

It is recommended to also include a task key that uniquely identifies the operation that this specific task instance will perform when combined with the $class and $coalesce_key. If included, the system will assume that multiple tasks with the same task key can be handled by a single call. Otherwise, each instance will be handled separately.

Overriden versions of this method should return a list of ($class, $coalesce_key, $task_key), where $task_key is optional. The default is to return the class which $self belongs to as the class, 'default' as the batching key (which causes all tasks of this class to be handled in a single batch) and no task key.

$class->execute_multi($batch_key, $tasks, $results)

Given an HASH ref of keys mapped to task instances that belong to classes that returned $class from their coalesce_class method, execute all of the tasks in the most efficient way possible and insert the results into $results (a HASH ref) with the keys matching the corresponding tasks in $tasks. Tasks should be designed to never use exceptions to signal failure.

The $batch_key is the class-specific batching key that was returned by the keys method on all of the supplied tasks. It's included for convenience though it's also available by explicitly calling keys on any of the supplied tasks. In the default implementation of keys, this is the string 'default'.

This should not be called directly. Instead, use Util::Task::Multi to create a single task that represents the set of tasks you wish to execute and call execute() on it. This will allow the task set to be optimized and dispatched to the correct task classes.

The request keys passed in should only contain word characters. This is not currently checked, but other keys may conflict with reserved keys used internally and make weird things happen.

FIXME: Figure out what should happen if execute_multi *does* die.

All subclasses that are returned by some implementation of coalesce_class must override this. The default implementation just dies.

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