++ed by:
THALJEF MARIOROY MARSENI EGOR CHENGANG
6 non-PAUSE users
Author image Αριστοτέλης Παγκαλτζής

NAME

Proc::Fork - Simple, intuitive interface to the fork() system call

VERSION

This documentation describes Proc::Fork version 0.61

SYNOPSIS

 use Proc::Fork;

 child {
     # child code goes here.
 }
 parent {
     my $child_pid = shift;
     # parent code goes here.
     waitpid $child_pid, 0;
 }
 retry {
     my $attempts = shift;
     # what to do if if fork() fails:
     # return true to try again, false to abort
     return if $attempts > 5;
     sleep 1, return 1;
 }
 error {
     # Error-handling code goes here
     # (fork() failed and the retry block returned false)
 };
 # Note the semicolon at the end! Necessary in most cases

DESCRIPTION

This module provides an intuitive, Perl-ish way to write forking programs by letting you use blocks to illustrate which code section executes in which fork. The code for the parent, child, retry handler and error handler are grouped together in a "fork block". The clauses may appear in any order, but they must be consecutive (without any other statements in between).

The semicolon after the last clause is mandatory, unless the last clause is at the end of the enclosing block or file.

All four clauses need not be specified. If the retry clause is omitted, only one fork will be attempted. If the error clause is omitted the program will die with a simple message if it can't retry. If the parent or child clause is omitted, the respective (parent or child) process will start execution after the final clause. So if one or the other only has to do some simple action, you need only specify that one. For example:

 # spawn off a child process to do some simple processing
 child {
     exec '/bin/ls', '-l';
     die "Couldn't exec ls: $!\n";
 };
 # Parent will continue execution from here
 # ...

If the code in any of the clauses does not die or exit, it will continue execution after the fork block.

INTERFACE

child

 child { ... }

This function executes the code reference passed to it if it discovers that it is the child process.

parent

 parent { ... }

This function executes the code reference passed to it if it discovers that it is the parent process. It passes the child's PID to the code.

retry

 retry { ... }

This function executes the code reference passed to it if there was an error, ie if fork returned undef. If the code returns true, another fork is attempted. The function passes the number of fork attempts so far to the code.

This can be used to implement a wait-and-retry logic that may be essential for some applications like daemons.

If a retry clause is not used, no retries will be attempted and a fork failure will immediately lead to the error clause being called.

error

 error { ... }

This function executes the code reference passed to it if there was an error, ie fork returned undef and the retry clause returned false. The function passes the number of forks attempted to the code.

If an error clause is not used, errors will raise an exception using die.

SYNTAX NOTE

Imporant note: Due to the way Perl 5 parses these functions, there must be a semicolon after the close brace of the final clause, whether it be a parent, child, retry or error clause, unless that closing brace is the final token of the enclosing block or file.

Proc::Fork attempts to detect missing semicolons. How well this works remains to be seen.

EXAMPLES

Simple example

 # example with IPC via pipe
 use strict;
 use IO::Pipe;
 use Proc::Fork;
 my $p = new IO::Pipe;

 parent {
     my $child = shift;
     $p->reader;
     print while ( <$p> );
     waitpid $child,0;
 }
 child {
     $p->writer;
     print $p "Line 1\n";
     print $p "Line 2\n";
     exit;
 }
 retry {
     if( $_[0] < 5 ) {
                 sleep 1;
                 return 1;
     }
     return 0;
 }
 error {
     die "That's all folks\n";
 };

(The terminating semicolon is not strictly necessary here, because the program ends there anyway, but it is good habit.)

Multi-child example

 use strict;
 use Proc::Fork;
 use IO::Pipe;

 my $num_children = 5;    # How many children we'll create
 my @children;            # Store connections to them
 $SIG{CHLD} = 'IGNORE';   # Don't worry about reaping zombies

 # Spawn off some children
 for my $num ( 1 .. $num_children ) {
     # Create a pipe for parent-child communication
     my $pipe = new IO::Pipe;

     # Child simply echoes data it receives, until EOF
     child {
         $pipe->reader;
         my $data;
         while ( $data = <$pipe> ) {
             chomp $data;
             print STDERR "child $num: [$data]\n";
         }
         exit;
     };

     # Parent here
     $pipe->writer;
     push @children, $pipe;
 }

 # Send some data to the kids
 for ( 1 .. 20 ) {
     # pick a child at random
     my $num = int rand $num_children;
     my $child = $children[$num];
     print $child "Hey there.\n";
 }

Daemon example

 # daemon example
 use strict;
 use Proc::Fork ();
 use Posix;

 # One-stop shopping: fork, die on error, parent process exits.
 Proc::Fork::parent {exit};

 # Other daemon initialization activities.
 $SIG{INT} = $SIG{TERM} = $SIG{HUP} = $SIG{PIPE} = \&some_signal_handler;
 Posix::setsid() or die "Cannot start a new session: $!\n";
 close $_ for *STDIN, *STDOUT, *STDERR;

 # rest of daemon program follows

Forking network server example

 # Socket-based server example
 use strict;
 use IO::Socket::INET;
 use Proc::Fork;

 $SIG{CHLD} = 'IGNORE';

 my $server = IO::Socket::INET->new(
        LocalPort => 7111,
        Type      => SOCK_STREAM,
        Reuse     => 1,
        Listen    => 10,
 ) or die "Couln't start server: $!\n";

 my $client;
 while ($client = $server->accept) {
     child {
         # Service the socket
         sleep(10);
         print $client "Ooga! ", time % 1000, "\n";
         exit; # child exits. Parent loops to accept another connection.
     }
 }

EXPORTS

This package exports the following symbols by default.

  • child

  • parent

  • retry

  • error

DEPENDENCIES

Carp and Exporter, which are part of the Perl distribution.

BUGS AND LIMITATIONS

None currently known, for what that's worth.

Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-proc-fork@rt.cpan.org, or through the web interface at https://rt.cpan.org/NoAuth/ReportBug.html?Queue=Proc-Fork. I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.

AUTHOR

Aristotle Pagaltzis, mailto:pagaltzis@gmx.de

Original version and most of the documentation by Eric J. Roode.

COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

Copyright (c) 2005 by Aristotle Pagaltzis. All rights Reserved.

This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself. See perlartistic.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY

BECAUSE THIS SOFTWARE IS LICENSED FREE OF CHARGE, THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE SOFTWARE, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE SOFTWARE "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE SOFTWARE IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE SOFTWARE PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR, OR CORRECTION.

IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MAY MODIFY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE THE SOFTWARE AS PERMITTED BY THE ABOVE LICENCE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE SOFTWARE (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE SOFTWARE TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER SOFTWARE), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.