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Jobby is a small utility and library for managing and running jobs in concurrent processes.
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README

== Jobby

Jobby is a small utility and library for managing running jobs in concurrent
processes. It was initially developed for offloading long running tasks from
the webserver in Rails applications, but it has proven to be useful in its own
right and has been extracted to work in a general manner.


== Download

* gem install jobby
* http://github.com/Spakman/jobby/tree/master
* git clone git://github.com/Spakman/jobby.git


== Contact

* Mark Somerville <mailto:mark@scottishclimbs.com>
* Ryan Stenhouse <mailto:ryan@ryanstenhouse.eu>
* {Rubyforge}[http://jobby.rubyforge.org/]


== Credits

Although the code was entirely authored by Mark Somerville, it should be noted
that lots of discussion took place with Andrew Clayton concerning the design
and development of the software.


== What happens when you run Jobby?

Jobby can be thought of as a self-managing daemon and client program rolled
into one. The first time you run Jobby, a daemon is started which listens for
connections on a socket. The daemon will fork every time it receives a
connection (up to --max-children, further requests are queued) and the forked
child will run whatever is specified by --ruby or --command.  

The *same* 'jobby' call also runs a client program to connect to the daemon,
passing --input as a parameter which will be used by the child process.
Subsequent calls to 'jobby' will use the existing daemon.  


== Usage

Jobby is a single 'binary' script that, can be run from the command line and is
often used within scripts. You can, of course, also use the Jobby::Server and
Jobby::Client classes directly in Ruby programs if you like.

This bash script attempts to illustrate some simple, if somewhat contrived,
usage of processing a directory full of text files (yes, there are better tools
for this particular example): 

  #!/bin/bash
  for i in *; do
    jobby --ruby 'File.rename("#{input}", "#{input}.jobby"' --max-children 4 --input $i
  done

The above script runs the specified Ruby code on up to four processes in
parallel. In this case, each file in the current directory will be renamed with
'.jobby' appended. Standard Ruby string interpolation is used to replace
'#{input}' with whatever is specified by --input. You may pass a filepath in
place of a string as the --ruby parameter - in this case the specified file is
simply loaded (using the Kernel module method 'load') by Ruby.

The above 'jobby' command is equivalent to:

  jobby --command 'mv #{input} #{input}.jobby' --max-children 4 --input $i

The difference is that whatever is in the --command parameter is exec'd by the
child process rather than interpretted as Ruby code. Again, Ruby string 
interpolation is used.

It is important to realise that although the --ruby 'File....' parameter is
passed every time jobby is called in this for loop, it is only actually read
and used the first time. I'll try to explain why below.


== Log rotation

Issue a HUP signal to tell a Jobby process that the log file has been rotated.
You need to do this for all Jobby processes.


== Stopping Jobby

Sending a USR1 signal to the Jobby daemon process (jobbyd) will gracefully
shutdown Jobby. The daemon process will stop accepting any more connections and
close the socket. It will honour anything in the queue and wait until all the
children have exited before exiting itself. In the meantime, you can start
another Jobby daemon on the old socket.

Sending a TERM signal to the Jobby daemon process (jobbyd) will terminate the
related Jobby processes (kill -15 the children, then exit the daemon).


== Running multiple Jobby daemons

Since the --ruby and --command parameters are ignored (and the ones used for
the first 'jobby' call are used), you may wonder how to specify different types
of jobs to be run. The most straightforward way to do this is to specify a
different socket for the Jobby daemon, using the --socket option. Then, the 
'jobby' command will run whatever --ruby or --command is specified for the 
daemon running on that socket.


== Copy-on-write

The Jobby::Server will enable the copy-on-write-friendly code when the
interpretter supports it. You might not want this, but can disable it by
passing calling GC.copy_on_write_friendly = true within a file that is
--prerun.


== Bugs, comments or feature requsts are encouraged

This is the best place:

{Issue tracker}[http://github.com/Spakman/jobby/issues]
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