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Background Job Processing for Atheists (collectiveidea.com)
23 points by laserlemon 559 days ago | 12 comments



Unix is polytheistic and depends extensively on unseen deities, called daemons, so atheism is not strictly possible. The init[1] daemon is the first daemon which is begat directly by the kernel and it creates daemons for other purposes and when they die, it creates them again. Daemons usually contact you with syslog and can send you email also. Since init is the parent or ancestor of all other daemons and user processes, it's always process 1. Since daemons are required and contact with the unseen is common, there aren't really atheists in unix. Loyalty to one daemon isn't required, though.

The init daemon is the traditional source of immortality and overseer in Unix, so you may want to make an offering to this daemon or recite its spells. But there may be other daemons that could offer you more features.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Init

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This makes me ponder what happens when init itself fails. This is probably a silly question.

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It's a good question. I was wondering that myself when I was writing the comment. Either the kernel would have to restart it or it would bring down the system, because no other process would have a parent.

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Usually the kernel halts.

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I like this idea. its the push version of the traditional uptime monitoring pull mechanism (i.e. ping endpoints).

not sure I'm a fan of using this specifically for background jobs though, as we have airbrake and splunk and other tools that detect these failures cheaply.

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Thanks. Quick and dirty is the key. And Airbrake is great for failures, but does it support uptime monitoring like Dead Man's Snitch does?

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no, but I dont care if it's up as long as its not down :)

which, of course, leaves me hanging if the job queue is just not running, but thats monitored with runit which will issue an error if the service fails to start.

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The idea is cool. I wish there was a middle ground between 1 snitch for free, and unlimited snitches for $20/month.

How many snitches should I get for $1/month, say ?

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This is fantastic. Firebase.js is spectacular.

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Ah! I was just thinking of this last week.

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"Dead Man's Snitch" is a mouthful. If you'd like an alternative to God, what about Santa?

   He sees you when you're sleeping
   He knows when you're awake...

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Wait. Santa's not real?

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