PHP parallel task management.
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A task runner that can be run in a distributed environment, consuming tasks off a queue and running tasks in parallel as separate processes. None of the processes will affect each other, thereby allowing any task to be run in virtually any language with the ability to continue running tasks even when some (or all tasks) fail.

Currently queues are available for MongoDB (currently building for RabbitMQ). Other queue interfaces are planned for Redis, Amazon SQS, and MySQL.

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How to use this?

$runner = \phlask\Runner::factory(array(
    'tasks'             => new \phlask\TaskQueue\MongoQueue($host, $db, $collection),
    'wait'              => 20,
    'daemon'            => false,
    'max_processes'     => 10


In the simplest case, a \phlask\Runner instance is created that will read tasks from a MongoDB queue and run them until all the tasks have run and exit. Alternatively, the application can be run as a daemon in the background by setting daemon config as true in the factory. The Runner is made to run in the background in this manner, consuming tasks as soon as they are made available on the queue. Keep in mind that the daemon flag is meant to indicate that this process could run in the background (i.e. without any timeouts by PHP) but the actual task of writing a daemon is up to the developer using this library. For more information, read about creating daemons.

Creating jobs

Any possible job can be created as long as the job follows the \phlask\TaskSpecInterface which defines some methods that are necessary to determine what it means to "run a job". This concept of a job is deliberately abstract to allow the user of this library to write their own task specifications that can be run as soon as they're placed on a stack by any host that is aware of the queue.

A simple example of what a task is can be found in \phlask\TaskSpec\PhpRunnable which can be created in this way. Suppose you want to run a PHP script located in this file: /home/me/file.php. You could set up your task like so:

$task = \phlask\TaskSpec\PhpRunnable::factory(array(
    'file' => '/home/me/file.php',
    'php' => '/usr/bin/php'

It's that simple. You could also pass additional parameters by specifying args as a config.

Now, you need to add to some queue. Suppose you're using a MongoDB queue. It's fairly straightforward. Simply push the task you just created on to the queue:

$queue = new \phlask\TaskQueue\MongoQueue('mongodb://', 'db', 'queue');

That's all you need to do for adding a job to a queue.

Running jobs

Running jobs requires starting the Runner in some way, either to run a finite number of tasks or to run as a daemon in the background, listening to the queue for new tasks to run. There are many different ways of creating a daemon script. You can read more about creating daemons.

In order to create a functioning Runner, we need to know about the task queue and some basic settings to start.

$runner = \phlask\Runner::factory(array(
    'tasks'             => new \phlask\TaskQueue\MongoQueue('mongodb://', 'myDb', 'queue'),
    'wait'              => 20,//milliseconds for waiting for new tasks
    'daemon'            => true,//run in the background
    'max_processes'     => 10//maximum parallel processes


The tasks config points to an instance of the queue. It can be any queue that implements the phlask\TaskQueueInterface. In this example we've chosen MongoDB on the localhost. The wait config indicates how many milliseconds we should wait for when there are no tasks on the queue. It is recommended to set max_processes to prevent too many processes from running in parallel if your task queue fills up with many jobs. The daemon flag will let the Runner run in daemon mode.


If you'd like to contribute to this project, please issue a pull request. I'd love to see more queue implementations or TaskSpecInterface implementations added.