Latest 1.0.3
Homepage https://github.com/mmabdelateef/SimpleTaskQueue
License MIT
Platforms ios 8.0
Authors

A handy way to execute tasks sequentially even across different threads. guarantee only one task is running at a time.

SimpleTaskQueue

TaskQueues do not care about threads, the sole purpose of a queue is to make sure that its tasks run sequentially and ensures that only one task is running at a time.

Example

This example simulates input backpressure by starting 20 tasks almost at the same time, our goal is to make sure this tasks doesn’t interscet with each other.

// Simulating 20 rapid events that trigger random length tasks
let queue = TaskQueue.getQueue(identifier: "TestQueue")   // 1
_ = (1...20).map {
        queue.push(task: TestTask(tag: "RandomTask($0)"))  // 2
}

// Replay events happened to the queue after sometime
DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + 100) {
    queue.recorder.reply()   // 3
}

print("Hi, MainThread is not blocked by tasks!!")
struct TestTask: Task {   // 4
    var tag: String
    func execute(queueLock: QueueLock) {    // 5
        DispatchQueue.main.asyncAfter(deadline: .now() + Double.random0to10()) {
            queueLock.release()   // 6
        }
    }
}

Output:

Hi, MainThread is not blocked by tasks!!
13:49:20: Task RandomTask1 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask1 started - accuired lock
13:49:20: Task RandomTask2 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask3 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask4 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask5 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask6 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask7 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask8 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask9 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask10 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask11 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask12 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask13 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask14 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask15 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask16 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask17 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask18 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask19 pushed to queue
13:49:20: Task RandomTask20 pushed to queue
13:49:21: Task RandomTask1 finished - released lock
13:49:21: Task RandomTask2 started - accuired lock
13:49:27: Task RandomTask2 finished - released lock
13:49:27: Task RandomTask3 started - accuired lock
13:49:34: Task RandomTask3 finished - released lock
13:49:34: Task RandomTask4 started - accuired lock
13:49:35: Task RandomTask4 finished - released lock
13:49:35: Task RandomTask5 started - accuired lock
13:49:44: Task RandomTask5 finished - released lock
13:49:44: Task RandomTask6 started - accuired lock
13:49:52: Task RandomTask6 finished - released lock
13:49:52: Task RandomTask7 started - accuired lock
13:49:55: Task RandomTask7 finished - released lock
13:49:55: Task RandomTask8 started - accuired lock
13:50:01: Task RandomTask8 finished - released lock
13:50:01: Task RandomTask9 started - accuired lock
13:50:03: Task RandomTask9 finished - released lock
13:50:03: Task RandomTask10 started - accuired lock
13:50:10: Task RandomTask10 finished - released lock
13:50:10: Task RandomTask11 started - accuired lock
13:50:15: Task RandomTask11 finished - released lock
13:50:15: Task RandomTask12 started - accuired lock
13:50:25: Task RandomTask12 finished - released lock
13:50:25: Task RandomTask13 started - accuired lock
13:50:29: Task RandomTask13 finished - released lock
13:50:29: Task RandomTask14 started - accuired lock
13:50:32: Task RandomTask14 finished - released lock
13:50:32: Task RandomTask15 started - accuired lock
13:50:37: Task RandomTask15 finished - released lock
13:50:37: Task RandomTask16 started - accuired lock
13:50:45: Task RandomTask16 finished - released lock
13:50:45: Task RandomTask17 started - accuired lock
13:50:46: Task RandomTask17 finished - released lock
13:50:46: Task RandomTask18 started - accuired lock
13:50:51: Task RandomTask18 finished - released lock
13:50:51: Task RandomTask19 started - accuired lock
13:50:53: Task RandomTask19 finished - released lock
13:50:53: Task RandomTask20 started - accuired lock
13:50:54: Task RandomTask20 finished - released lock

Code Explanation:

  1. Get instance of the desired queue, queues are singletons identified by identifier string and can be careted using TaskQueue.getQueue(identifier:). This method will check if there is a queue with this identifier alreqady exisits otheriwse it will create a new one with this identifier.
  2. Push tasks using queue.push(task:) to queue to execute them as soon as possible when all previous tasks in the queue are done.
  3. When queue.recorder.reply() is called, it will print all events happened on the queue
  4. Create a class/struct conforming to Task protocol to encapsulate the task’s logic in it
  5. override execute function and write the task logic
  6. When the task is finished just release the queue lock by calling queueLock.release(), after that queue will automatically check if there are any pending tasks and start executing them.

Usage

SimpleTaskQueue is useful to avoid race conditions in situations where data sources are changing more rapidly than the consumer elements can consume.
One obvious example is when using a UICollectionView that displays data from an array of elements. If the array that is used by the datasource is changing rapidly, you might want to update the UI to reflect the new data but you don’t want the data to be modified again before you finish displaying it in the collection view to avoid any data inconsistency caused by race conditions.
One solution is use locks but locks are dangerous if not used carefully because they may lead to a deadlock, another approach is to dispatch tasks synchronously into the main thread using DispatchQueue.main.sync but this is not a good idea because if you call this from the main thread it will block the main thread and most probably will led to a deadlock (The synchronous dispatch waits for the block to finish, but the block does not even start running, since we are waiting for the current one – the block that executes DispatchQueue.main.sync – to finish.).
Using SimpleTaskQueue you can easily do this by queuing different UI changes without blocking the main thread, we are just delaying the execution of one task till the other related tasks that use the same shared resources are finished

Notes

  • Queues are singleton objects identified by a String ID, everytime you try to get a queue by the same identifier, you will get the same queue instance.
  • Queue is agnostic to threads, managing threads is the user responsibility. Queue is only responsible of starting one task when the other is finished.
  • Tasks design is inspired by the command pattern where task logic is encapsulated in a single entity and is executed via a callback method execute.
  • You should never call execute directly, it is meant to be called by the queue when the task is ready to run.
  • Internally, tasks are stored in a linked list structure where every task is contained in a node that also contains a reference to the the next node (containing the next task to be executed).
  • When a task finishes it is work it must signal the queue that it’s done so the queue can move to the next node in the underlying linked list and start executing it.
  • Every Queue has a recoreder instance associated to it, You can use it to reply events happened in the queue at any time.

Installation

SimpleTaskQueue can be installed using CocoaPods

use_frameworks!
pod 'SimpleTaskQueue'

Todos

  • Improve logging by adding interactive replays
  • Add callbacks to different queue states

License

MIT

Latest podspec

{
    "name": "SimpleTaskQueue",
    "version": "1.0.3",
    "summary": "Execute tasks sequentially, one after the other. gurantee only one task is running at any time",
    "description": "A simple implementation for a queue to execute tasks sequentially, as simplest as possible. Execute tasks sequentially, one after the other. gurantee only one task is running at any time",
    "homepage": "https://github.com/mmabdelateef/SimpleTaskQueue",
    "license": "MIT",
    "authors": {
        "mabdellateef": "[email protected]"
    },
    "social_media_url": "https://twitter.com/mmabdellateef",
    "platforms": {
        "ios": "8.0"
    },
    "source": {
        "git": "https://github.com/mmabdelateef/SimpleTaskQueue.git",
        "tag": "1.0.3"
    },
    "source_files": [
        "SimpleTaskQueue",
        "SimpleTaskQueue/**/*.{h,m,swift}"
    ],
    "swift_version": "4.1"
}

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