loading...

Making Simple Scheduler using Go Routine & Channel

bastianrob profile image Robin ・8 min read

Learn how to schedule an event to be running at specific time

Recently Product team in my job requires me to have a scheduled event that might or might not run at a specific set of interval.

And the story goes like this:

As a [role] I want [resource] document to be tracked after it was Assigned to [role], for every [N] minutes until it was Handled

So let's do a case study on Go Routine, and Go Channel!

Designing the Scheduler

  • It have to be re-usable and shared across all projects
  • It have to survive server restart
  • It have to be able to re-schedule event

So now, we have these barebone requirements. We can start to write some code.

Event Object

First we have to write Event object. It is the data that a Scheduler receive

package scheduler

import (
    "time"
)

// Attachment data associated with an event
// Can be anything stored in bytes
type Attachment struct {
    Name        string
    ContentType string
    Body        []byte
}

// Event which will run on scheduler
type Event struct {
    datetime    string // RFC3339 please
    attachments []Attachment
}

// NewEvent create a new instance of immutable Event
func NewEvent(d string, att []Attachment) *Event {
    // we copy the attachment slice to another memory to avoid mutability
    cpy := make([]Attachment, len(att))
    copy(cpy, att)

    return &Event{
        datetime:    d,
        attachments: cpy,
    }
}

// Date get event datetime, parsed into RFC3339 format
func (e *Event) Date() (time.Time, error) {
    return time.Parse(time.RFC3339, e.datetime)
}

// Attachments returns a copy of attachments slice
// This is done to ensure immutability of event
func (e *Event) Attachments() []Attachment {
    cpy := make([]Attachment, len(e.attachments))
    copy(cpy, e.attachments)

    return cpy
}

Event is designed to be immutable so none of these event can be changed once scheduled.
Each event contains 2 fields

  • datetime = RFC3339 string representation of a date & time
  • attachments = List of any object associated to an Event

Both of those fields are private and can only be set from the NewEvent factory.
But both can get fetched from 2 getter methods called Date dan Attachments.

The Scheduler

Next in the scheduler, we know that we have to create a method called Schedule which takes an Event as its parameter:

package scheduler

// Scheduler ...
type Scheduler struct {}

// Schedule an event
func (s *Scheduler) Schedule(e *Event) error {
    // TODO:
}

TODO-1 Validate Event

// Scheduler error collection
var (
    ErrEventInPast = errors.New("Event datetime is in the past")
    ErrTimeInvalid = errors.New("Datetime format is not in RFC3339")
)

// Schedule an event
func (s *Scheduler) Schedule(e *Event) error {
    date, err := e.Date()
    if err != nil {
        return ErrTimeInvalid
    }

    now := time.Now()
    if date.Unix() <= now.Unix() {
        return ErrEventInPast
    }

    ...
}

TODO-2 Use Go routine to wait for event

// Schedule an event
func (s *Scheduler) Schedule(e *Event) error {
    ...
    // fire a go routine
    go func(e *Event) {
        now := time.Now()
        target, _ := e.Date()
        waitDuration := target.Sub(now) // compare

        select {
            case <-time.After(waitDuration):
        }
    }(e)
}

TODO-3 Add Event Handler

This line below:

select {
    case <-time.After(waitDuration):
}

Will block the goroutine for waitDuration long, and then executes whatever code under the case

But we don't have the event handler handler for now, so it's time to design it.

  • The event handler must be supplied by the caller
  • Each Scheduler can only have 1 handler
  • Everytime an Event is triggered, we'll call the registered handler

The concept really is close with Java delegates so that's what we'll call it.

// EventHandler delegates
type EventHandler func(*Scheduler, *Event)

// Scheduler ...
type Scheduler struct {
    delegate EventHandler
}

// New instance of scheduler
func New(d EventHandler) *Scheduler {
    return &Scheduler{
        delegate: d,
    }
}

Again, we make the Scheduler immutable so the delegate can only be instantiated via New factory function, and can't be changed while it's running.

The EventHandler delegate accepts 2 parameter, Scheduler and Event. This means any delegate will always receive the correct reference to its Scheduler and Event.

And then, we complete our Schedule method:

// Schedule an event
func (s *Scheduler) Schedule(e *Event) error {
    date, err := e.Date()
    if err != nil {
        return ErrTimeInvalid
    }

    now := time.Now()
    if date.Unix() <= now.Unix() {
        return ErrEventInPast
    }

    // fire a go routine
    go func(e *Event) {
        now := time.Now()
        target, _ := e.Date()
        waitDuration := target.Sub(now) // compare

        select {
            case <-time.After(waitDuration):
                s.delegate(s, e)
        }
    }(e)
    return  nil
}

Reviewing the Requirements

It looks like we're done with the Scheduler but let's go back and look at the requirements:

  • It have to survive server restart

So, we'll at least have to consider Stop method which stops all scheduled events, collects it, and report it back to caller:

// Stop all running scheduler and report all pending events
func (s *Scheduler) Stop() (events []*Event) {
    // TODO:
}

TODO-1 Stop all scheduled events!

So in the select case statement in Schedule method. Not only we have to wait for Event datetime, we also have to listen to another channel which signals as out Stop event. So lets call it just that:

// Scheduler ...
type Scheduler struct {
    delegate EventHandler
    stop     chan struct{}
}

// New instance of scheduler
func New(d EventHandler) *Scheduler {
    return &Scheduler{
        delegate: d,
        // initialize stop channel
        stop:     make(chan struct{}),
    }
}

In the Schedule method we'll listen to the stop channel:

// Schedule an event
func (s *Scheduler) Schedule(e *Event) error {
    ...

    // fire a go routine
    go func(e *Event) {
        now := time.Now()
        target, _ := e.Date()
        waitDuration := target.Sub(now) // compare

        select {
            case <-time.After(waitDuration):
                s.delegate(s, e)
            case <-s.stop:
                // TODO:
        }
    }(e)
    return  nil
}

And then in the Stop method:

// Stop all running scheduler and report all pending events
func (s *Scheduler) Stop() (events []*Event) {
    // close stop channel & it will be broadcasted to all consumer
    close(s.stop)

    // TODO:
}

TODO-2 Collecting pending events

So far we have orchestrated to stop all running go routine but we haven't collected all the pending events yet.

To do this, we'll once again utilize channel. Let's call it pendings

// Scheduler ...
type Scheduler struct {
    delegate EventHandler
    stop     chan struct{}
    pendings chan *Event
}

// New instance of scheduler
func New(d EventHandler) *Scheduler {
    return &Scheduler{
        delegate: d,
        // initialize stop channel
        stop:     make(chan struct{}),
        // initialize buffered event channel
        pendings: make(chan *Event, 3),
    }
}

pendings is a buffered channel with length = 3 which means it can hold up to 3 value until producer have to wait for any consumer to fetch a value, freeing up a buffer.

// Schedule an event
func (s *Scheduler) Schedule(e *Event) error {
    ...
    // fire a go routine
    go func(e *Event) {
        ...
        select {
            ...
            case <-s.stop:
                s.pendings <- e
        }
    }(e)
    return  nil
}

And then in the Stop function we'll have to collect all pending Events being put in pendings channel

// Stop all running scheduler and report all pending events
func (s *Scheduler) Stop() (events []*Event) {
    close(s.stop)

    for e := range s.pendings {
        events = append(events, e)
    }

    return events
}

Looks good? but wait!

for e := range s.pendings

Is iterating over a channel.
BUT NOBODY is CLOSING THE pendings CHANNEL SO IT WON'T EVER QUIT!

TODO-3 Closing the pendings channel

So how do we know when to close pendings channel? We'll need to:

  • Manually count how many go routine was fired.
  • Decreement it everytime the go routine exit. Either it is done handling event, or forcefully stopped.
  • Watch the counter to go down to zero, to then close the pendings channel

!@#E!T#T!V@$Y

Luckily, we have sync.WaitGroup to our rescue! It does everything we listed above so let's code right away:

// Scheduler ...
type Scheduler struct {
    delegate EventHandler
    stop     chan struct{}
    pendings chan *Event
    wg       *sync.WaitGroup
}

// New instance of scheduler
func New(d EventHandler) *Scheduler {
    return &Scheduler{
        delegate: d,
        // initialize stop channel
        stop:     make(chan struct{}),
        // initialize buffered event channel
        pendings: make(chan *Event, 3),
        wg:       &sync.WaitGroup{},
    }
}

Next, we want to call wg.Add(1) every time we fire a go routine.
And We want to call wg.Done() every time a go routine exits.

// Schedule an event
func (s *Scheduler) Schedule(e *Event) error {
    ...
    s.wg.Add(1)
    // fire a go routine
    go func(e *Event) {
        ...
        defer s.wg.Done()
        select {
            ...
            case <-s.stop:
                s.pendings <- e
        }
    }(e)
    return  nil
}

Lastly! we want to watch and wait for the counter to go down to zero.

// Stop all running scheduler and report all pending events
func (s *Scheduler) Stop() (events []*Event) {
    ...
    go func() {
        s.wg.Wait()
        close(s.pendings)
    }()
    ...
}

In the Stop method, we are waiting for wg counter to drop to zero by calling wg.Wait().
And we do it in another go routine so it doesn't block the Stop execution which collects pending events.

Reviewing the Requirements again

  • It have to be re-usable and shared across all projects

This is a standalone go package called scheduler and can be shared to whoever needed a scheduler

  • It have to survive server restart

Actually because scheduler is a standalone go package we'll invert the responsibilities of persisting pending events to the user / caller.

All scheduler cant provide is just a Stop method that can be called which reports any pending events to the caller.

  • It have to be able to re-schedule event

By designing the EventHandler delegate to accept Scheduler and Event as its parameter. We leave the re-schedule implementation to the delegate.

The delegate can just call Scheduler.Schedule method to re-schedule any event.

Full Code of the Scheduler

package scheduler

import (
    "errors"
    "sync"
    "time"
)

// Scheduler error collection
var (
    ErrEventInPast = errors.New("Event datetime is in the past")
    ErrTimeInvalid = errors.New("Datetime format is not in RFC3339")
)

// EventHandler delegates
type EventHandler func(*Scheduler, *Event)

// Scheduler ...
type Scheduler struct {
    delegate EventHandler
    stop     chan struct{}
    pendings chan *Event
    wg       *sync.WaitGroup
}

// New instance of scheduler
func New(d EventHandler) *Scheduler {
    return &Scheduler{
        delegate: d,
        // initialize stop channel
        stop: make(chan struct{}),
        // initialize buffered event channel
        pendings: make(chan *Event, 3),
        wg:       &sync.WaitGroup{},
    }
}

// Schedule an event
func (s *Scheduler) Schedule(e *Event) error {
    date, err := e.Date()
    if err != nil {
        return ErrTimeInvalid
    }

    now := time.Now()
    if date.Unix() <= now.Unix() {
        return ErrEventInPast
    }

    s.wg.Add(1)
    // fire a go routine
    go func(e *Event) {
        now := time.Now()
        target, _ := e.Date()
        waitDuration := target.Sub(now)

        defer s.wg.Done()
        select {
        case <-time.After(waitDuration):
            s.delegate(s, e)
        case <-s.stop:
            s.pendings <- e
        }
    }(e)
    return nil
}

// Stop all running scheduler and report all pending events
func (s *Scheduler) Stop() (events []*Event) {
    close(s.stop)
    go func() {
        s.wg.Wait()
        close(s.pendings)
    }()

    for e := range s.pendings {
        events = append(events, e)
    }

    return events
}

Testing our Scheduler

func Test_Scheduler(t *testing.T) {
    one := time.Now().Add(1 * time.Second) // next 1 sec
    two := one.Add(1 * time.Second)        // next 2 sec
    tri := two.Add(1 * time.Second)        // next 3 sec
    att := []Attachment{
        {Name: "Here!"}, // we need this to test immutability
    }

    sch := New(func(s *Scheduler, e *Event) {
        if e.attachments[0].Name == "THERE!" {
            t.Error("Name should be Here! not THERE!")
        }
    })
    ev1 := NewEvent(one.Format(time.RFC3339), att)
    sch.Schedule(ev1)

    ev2 := NewEvent(two.Format(time.RFC3339), att)
    sch.Schedule(ev2)

    ev3 := NewEvent(tri.Format(time.RFC3339), att)
    sch.Schedule(ev3)

    // Name changed after all events have been scheduled
    att[0].Name = "THERE!"

    // sleep for 2 secs to leave only 3rd event as pending
    time.Sleep(2 * time.Second)
    // stop scheduler and collect the pending events
    pendings := sch.Stop()
    if len(pendings) != 1 {
        t.Error("Pendings should only left the last event")
    } else {
        last := pendings[0]
        if last != ev3 {
            t.Error("Pendings[0] should equal to ev3")
        }
    }
}

And test result shows:

Running tool: go test -timeout 30s -run ^(Test_Scheduler)$

PASS
ok      /Go/pkg/scheduler   2.512s
Success: Tests passed.

Hope you guys enjoy this case study ✌️

Discussion

pic
Editor guide