LaloInDublin LaloInDublin - 3 months ago 112
Scala Question

Scala Futures - built in timeout?

there is an aspect of futures that I do not exactly understand from the official tutorial ref. http://docs.scala-lang.org/overviews/core/futures.html

Do futures in scala have a built in time-out mechanism of some kind? Let's say the example below was a 5 gigabyte text file... does the implied scope of "Implicits.global" eventually cause onFailure to fire in a non-blocking way or can that be defined? And without a default time-out of some kind, wouldn't that imply it's possible neither success nor failure would ever fire?

import scala.concurrent._
import ExecutionContext.Implicits.global

val firstOccurence: Future[Int] = future {
val source = scala.io.Source.fromFile("myText.txt")
source.toSeq.indexOfSlice("myKeyword")
}
firstOccurence onSuccess {
case idx => println("The keyword first appears at position: " + idx)
}
firstOccurence onFailure {
case t => println("Could not process file: " + t.getMessage)
}

Answer

You only get timeout behavior when you use blocking to get the results of the Future. If you want to use the non-blocking callbacks onComplete, onSuccess or onFailure, then you would have to roll your own timeout handling. Akka has built in timeout handling for request/response (?) messaging between actors, but not sure if you want to start using Akka. FWIW, in Akka, for timeout handling, they compose two Futures together via Future.firstCompletedOf, one which represents the actual async task and one that represents the timeout. If the timeout timer (via a HashedWheelTimer) pops first, you get a failure on the async callback.

A very simplified example of rolling your own might go something like this. First, an object for scheduling timeouts:

import org.jboss.netty.util.{HashedWheelTimer, TimerTask, Timeout}
import java.util.concurrent.TimeUnit
import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration
import scala.concurrent.Promise
import java.util.concurrent.TimeoutException

object TimeoutScheduler{
  val timer = new HashedWheelTimer(10, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS)
  def scheduleTimeout(promise:Promise[_], after:Duration) = {
    timer.newTimeout(new TimerTask{
      def run(timeout:Timeout){              
        promise.failure(new TimeoutException("Operation timed out after " + after.toMillis + " millis"))        
      }
    }, after.toNanos, TimeUnit.NANOSECONDS)
  }
}

Then a function to take a Future and add timeout behavior to it:

import scala.concurrent.{Future, ExecutionContext, Promise}
import scala.concurrent.duration.Duration

def withTimeout[T](fut:Future[T])(implicit ec:ExecutionContext, after:Duration) = {
  val prom = Promise[T]()
  val timeout = TimeoutScheduler.scheduleTimeout(prom, after)
  val combinedFut = Future.firstCompletedOf(List(fut, prom.future))
  fut onComplete{case result => timeout.cancel()}
  combinedFut
}

Note that the HashedWheelTimer I am using here is from Netty.

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