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We use EventMachine heavily in production. It is handling uploads to S3, managing thousands of messages a second or distributing agent workload. This taught us a load about EventMachine and some weird> corner-cases. I want to about such advanced EventMachine topics and shared some use-cases and experiences from the trenches.

  • Chunk up IO to keep from blocking the main loop!
  • EM.next_tick &block schedules your block (see also EM.defer)

  • Deferrables (EM::Deferrable)

    • Good for allowing EM style concurrency in your classes (callbacks, errbacks)
    • benjaminoakes: I'm not sure I understand how Deferrables are different from Promises or Futures. #EventMachine #RubyConf
  • Queues (EM::Queue)
    • push on, pop off in worker
  • Channels (EM::Channel)
    • Pub/Sub
    • Push messages on. Can subscribe or unsubscribe
  • Iterator (EM::Iterator)

    • Close to the sequential stuff in Ruby stdlib
    • Kinda MapReducey.
      • "map": what you do in individual steps
      • "reduce": what you do when you get all the results (e.g. which is the biggest?)
  • Fibers & EM-Synchrony

    • Helps with "callback hell" (lots of nesting)
    • Ruby 1.9+: "lightweight cooperative concurrency"
    • Let's you write synchronous-looking code that actually runs asynchronoulsy
    • See also: Goliath (lets you do async Rack)
  • Testing

    • What do you do without the event loop?
    • Test domain logic
    • Then make sure the right stuff is fired
  • Exception Handling
    • Error handling is hard
    • Deeply nested
    • Don't want to kill the main loop
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