[Backgroundrb-devel] Feedback on RC2

Andy Tyra andy.tyra at gmail.com
Wed Dec 5 20:51:11 EST 2007

I tried to upgrade my existing application to RC2 last night.  Like many, I
use this mostly for running scheduled tasks.  For the moment, I've abandoned
the effort, but am looking forward to being able to use this.  Feedback

First, the reason I was looking forward to this upgrade was to use the
threaded scheduler.  I have an application with long-running tasks.  I found
that scheduled tasks in previous versions of backgroundrb would not run if
the worker scheduled before it was still running.  This seemed
counterintuitive to me (given the whole idea behind backgroundrb) but after
reading documentation and forums, it seems many others ran into this issue
too.  RC2 planned to do away with this.

The Good:

- (Still) Easy Installattion
- Well designed.  Logging is centralized, that's nice.
- Easy to hack up for use in an enterprise environment.

The Bad:

- Lots of arbitrary changes that I don't quite understand. Different
function names to create workers, new YML formats, different config files
for scheduler.  Would have been great if none of the rails
application-facing stuff changed so the new version could just be swapped
- Logging detail has greatly diminished.  It's difficult to troubleshoot
what's happening when things go wrong.
- For the moment, this seems less stable than the old version.  My scheduled
tasks are bringing down the whole server and I can't tell why (nothing
showing up in the logs). This is why I've abandoned the upgrade.  The
scheduler is working fine for lightweight tasks, but the long-running ones
just bring everything down.  For what it's worth, the logic for the tasks
still lives in my rails models.  The workers basically just call class
methods in the models.  (Truly using this as a scheduler.)  Perhaps this has
something to do with it?
- Documentation and resources for the new version are sparse (obviously) and
seem a little inaccurate.  For example, I learned that the
MiddleMan.ask_worker() method detailed in the docs is actually called as
MiddleMan.ask_work ().

If anyone has any thoughts on what might be going wrong with my scheduled
tasks, that'd be great.  Thanks!

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