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Objects and patterns for working with processes in Python using the multiprocessing library

Project description Latest PyPI version

This is a collection of objects and patterns for working with processes in Python using the multiprocessing library.

The main idea is that you express your unit of work as a simple method on an object and then when that object is instantiated the work will be run in a subprocess.

Use cases

Offspring was built to address the following use cases for running code in a subprocess.

Run something once

from offspring import Subprocess

class MyTask(Subprocess):
    def init(self, arg1):
        # This is run in the parent process and is used to prepare your object.
        # It receives whatever arguments were supplied to the constructor.
        self.arg1 = arg1

    def run(self):
        # This will be run in the child process and completes your work.
        # ...

MyTask('this is arg1').wait()

Run in a loop

from offspring import SubprocessLoop

class MyTask(SubprocessLoop):
    def init(self, arg1):
        # This is the same as init for Subprocess.
        self.arg1 = arg1

    def begin(self):
        # Called before the start of the loop in your child process.
        # ...

    def loop(self):
        # Called each loop iteration in your your child process.
        # It can return a sleep duration until the next loop, or False to stop the loop.
        # ...

    def end(self):
        # Called after the end of the loop, before termination in your child process.
        # ...

MyTask('this is arg1').wait()

Implementation details

.init(*args, **kwargs)

Called when an instance of your class is created. It receives the same arguments as the __init__ method, so you are encouraged to explicitly define the arguments you expect.


Creates the subprocess. This is automatically called unless you set EXPLICIT_START to True.


If you need to wait for your child process you can call .wait on your Subprocess object. This is just a shortcut to .join on the multiprocessing.Process object.


This will send a TERM signal to the child process, unless TERMINATE_ON_SHUTDOWN is False, and then calls .wait() to join the child process. It is automatically called whenever the parent process exits via the atexit module.


Each Subprocess object has a .process attribute that is the multiprocessing.Process object.


Defaults to False.

If set to True on your Subprocess class then a Pipe will be used to block the parent process until the child has started. This is useful when you want to ensure that your Subprocess object is started and .run is called even if the parent process exits quickly.

class MyTask(Subprocess):

    def run(self):
        print("This will always print")


The SubprocessLoop class does this to ensure that your object has begin & end called (loop may not be called as a TERM signal received during startup will prevent the loop from every actually completing other than begin & end).


Defaults to True.

If set to False then when .shutdown is called on a Subprocess object the child process will not be terminated before being joined. This means that the parent will block until the child completes the .run function.

import time

class MyTask(Subprocess):

    def run(self):



Defaults to False.

If set to True then when you instantiate an object you must explicitly call .start() before the child process will be spawned.

class MyTask(Subprocess):

    def run(self):

task = MyTask()
# Do some other work
# Running! is now printed

Project details

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