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Chime is a really lightweight Clojure scheduler.


Add the following to your project.clj file:

[jarohen/chime "0.1.0"]

The 'Big Idea'™ behind Chime

The main goal of Chime was to create the simplest possible scheduler. Many scheduling libraries have gone before, most attempting to either mimic cron-style syntax, or creating whole DSLs of their own. This is all well and good, until your scheduling needs cannot be (easily) expressed using these syntaxes.

When returning to the grass roots of a what a scheduler actually is, we realised that a scheduler is really just a promise to execute a function at a (possibly infinite) sequence of times. So, that is exactly what Chime is - and no more!

Chime doesn't really mind how you generate this sequence of times - in the spirit of composability you are free to choose whatever method you like! (yes, even including other cron-style/scheduling DSLs!)

When using Chime in other projects, I have settled on a couple of patterns (mainly involving the rather excellent time functions provided by clj-time - more on this below.)


Chime consists of one main function, chime-at, which is called with a callback function and an ordered sequence of Joda times.

(:require [chime :refer [chime-at]]
          [clj-time.core :as t])

(chime-at [(-> 2 t/secs t/from-now)
           (-> 4 t/secs t/from-now)]
          (fn [time]
            (println "Chiming at" time)))

Here we are making use of clj-time's time functions to generate the sequence of Joda times.

chime-at returns a zero-arg function that can be called to cancel the schedule.

Recurring schedules

To achieve recurring schedules, we can lazily generate an infinite sequence of times using the new (as of 0.5.0) clj-time periodic-seq function. This example runs every 5 minutes from now:

(:require [chime :refer [chime-at]]
          [clj-time.core :as t]
          [clj-time.periodic :refer [periodic-seq]])

(chime-at (rest (periodic-seq (t/now) 
                              (-> 5 t/mins)))
          (fn [time]
            (println "Chiming at" time)))

To start a recurring schedule at a particular time, you can combine this example with some standard Clojure functions. Let's say you want to run a function at 8pm New York time every day. To generate the sequence of times, you'll need to seed the call to periodic-seq with the next time you want the function to run:

(:require [chime :refer [chime-at]]
          [clj-time.core :as t])
(:import [org.joda.time DateTimeZone])

 (->> (periodic-seq (.. (t/now)
                        (withZone (DateTimeZone/forID "America/New_York"))
                        (withTime 20 0 0 0))
                    (-> 1 t/days)))
 (fn [time]
   (println "Chiming at" time)))

Chime does drop any times that have already passed from the front of your sequence of times (on the condition that the sequence is ordered) so it doesn't matter whether 8pm today has already passed - Chime will handle this gracefully.

Complex schedules

Because there is no scheduling DSL included with Chime, the sorts of schedules that you can achieve are not limited to the scope of the DSL.

Instead, complex schedules can be expressed with liberal use of standard Clojure sequence-manipulation functions:

(:require [clj-time.core :as t])
(:import [org.joda.time DateTimeConstants DateTimeZone])

;; Every Tuesday and Friday:
(->> (periodic-seq (.. (t/now)
                       (withZone (DateTimeZone/forID "America/New_York"))
                       (withTime 0 0 0 0))
                   (-> 1 t/days))
     (filter (comp #{DateTimeConstants/TUESDAY
				   #(.getDayOfWeek %))))

;; Week-days
(->> (periodic-seq ...)
     (remove (comp #{DateTimeConstants/SATURDAY
                   #(.getDayOfWeek %))))

;; Last Monday of the month:
(->> (periodic-seq (.. (t/now)
                       (withZone (DateTimeZone/forID "America/New_York"))
                       (withTime 0 0 0 0))
                   (-> 1 t/days))

     ;; Get all the Mondays					   
     (filter (comp #{DateTimeConstants/MONDAY}
                   #(.getDayOfWeek %)))

     ;; Split into months
     ;; (Make sure you use partition-by, not group-by - 
     ;;  it's an infinite series!)
     (partition-by #(.getMonthOfYear %))

     ;; Only keep the last one in each month
     (map last))

;; 'Triple witching days': 
;; (The third Fridays in March, June, September and December)
;; (see

;; Here we have to revert the start day to the first day of the month
;; so that when we split by month, we know which Friday is the third
;; Friday. (Any times that have already passed will be dropped, as
;; before)

(->> (periodic-seq (.. (t/now)
                       (withZone (DateTimeZone/forID "America/New_York"))
                       (withTime 0 0 0 0)
					   (withDayOfMonth 1)
                   (-> 1 t/days))

     (filter (comp #{DateTimeConstants/FRIDAY}
				   #(.getDayOfWeek %)))

     (filter (comp #{3 6 9 12}
				   #(.getMonthOfYear %)))

     ;; Split into months
     (partition-by #(.getMonthOfYear %))

     ;; Only keep the third one in each month
	 (map #(nth % 2))))

This is quite a different approach to other scheduling libraries, and therefore I would be very interested to hear your thoughts!

Testing your integration with Chime

Testing time-dependent applications is always more challenging than other non-time-dependent systems. Chime makes this easier by allowing you to test the sequence of times independently from the execution of the scheduled job.

(Although, don't forget to wrap your infinite sequences with (take x ...) when debugging!)

Bugs/thoughts/ideas/suggestions/patches etc

Please feel free to submit these through Github in the usual way!



Copyright © 2013 James Henderson

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License, the same as Clojure.

Big thanks to Malcolm Sparks for providing the initial idea, as well as his other contributions and discussions.

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