Process a queue of tasks, pausing after each one
HTML Clojure
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


Process a queue of tasks, waiting in between.


  1. Add [com.github.bdesham/simple-queue "0.6.1"] to your project’s dependencies.
  2. Add (:use [simple-queue :as q]) to your library’s ns macro.
  3. Instantiate a queue with (def my-queue (q/new-queue f)).
  4. Add items with (q/process my-queue item) or (q/add my-queue item).


This library maintains queues of objects. Each queue has an associated function f: at some periodic interval (one second by default), the function f is called with the next queue item as its argument. This function is specified when you create the queue:

(def my-queue (q/new-queue println))

This will create a queue that will print each successive item. You can also specify how long the queue should wait before processing the next item. Pass a number of seconds as the :delay argument to new-queue:

(def my-queue (q/new-queue println :delay 60))

This will create the same queue as before but with a one-minute delay between invocations of f. The delay time need not be an integer; to wait only 500 milliseconds between actions, use

(def my-queue (q/new-queue println :delay 0.5))

There are two functions you can use to add items to the queue. The first, process, blocks until the passed item has been processed:

(def my-queue (q/new-queue f))
(q/process my-queue 6174) ; returns (f 6174), but may take a while to do so

The other function, add, returns immediately but discards the result of calling f with the value, and so this is better suited for cases where f has some kind of side effect.

(def my-queue (q/new-queue println))
(q/add my-queue "Hi there!") ; returns immediately and prints later

The library also contains a function cancel that stops processing the queue. If an action is already in progress then it may complete; if cancel is called while the queue is pausing before the next item then that next item will not be processed.

(q/cancel my-queue)


Suppose we want to fetch a bunch of web pages, but in order to avoid flooding the server we’ll wait 30 seconds between requests. In this case let’s suppose that the items we’re putting into the queue are the URLs of the pages we want. This is easily done:

(def url-queue (q/new-queue slurp :delay 30))
(def github (q/process url-queue ""))
(def google (q/process url-queue ""))

In this case, github will contain the HTML source of the GitHub front page, and likewise for google, but there will be a 30-second pause between the two requests.

For a more complicated example, suppose that we want to add our URLs asynchronously and go back to work. In this case we want to store the downloaded HTML somewhere so that it can be processed later.

(defn cache-url
  [{url :url, filename :filename} item]
  (spit ( filename)
        (slurp url)))

(def url-queue (q/new-queue cache-url :delay 30))
(q/add url-queue {:url "",
                  :filename "github.html"})    ; returns immediately
(q/add url-queue {:url "",
                  :filename "google.html"})    ; returns immediately

Now execution continues immediately after the two items are added to the queue, and we’ll see the files “github.html” and “google.html” populated slowly as the queue executes.


This library hasn’t been tested very extensively! Use it at your own risk.


This library was written by Benjamin Esham.

This project is hosted on GitHub. Please feel free to submit pull requests.


Copyright © 2012 Benjamin D. Esham. This project is distributed under the Eclipse Public License, the same as that used by Clojure. A copy of the license is included as “epl-v10.html” in this distribution.