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Using signals to timeout a function such as in: http://www.pycs.net/users/0000231/weblog/2004/10/ http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Cookbook/Python/Recipe/307871 won't work if the function you are calling overrides the alarm. Using threads gives you away around this.

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def timeout(func, args=(), kwargs={}, timeout_duration=1, default=None):
    import threading
    class InterruptableThread(threading.Thread):
        def __init__(self):
            threading.Thread.__init__(self)
            self.result = None

        def run(self):
            try:
                self.result = func(*args, **kwargs)
            except:
                self.result = default

    it = InterruptableThread()
    it.start()
    it.join(timeout_duration)
    if it.isAlive():
        return default
    else:
        return it.result

Apparently cx_Oracle overrides the alarm signal so the signal handling method of timingout a function wasn't working for me. I came up with the threading method as a way around this.

3 comments

Aaron Swartz 10 years, 9 months ago  # | flag

An improved version supporting exceptions and decorators. Check out http://aspn.activestate.com/ASPN/Cookbook/Python/Recipe/483752

Stojan Jovic 6 years, 11 months ago  # | flag

Why this doesn't work (!?):

def test(): while True: print "Test" time.sleep(1.5)

if __name__ == '__main__': timeout(test, timeout_duration=3)

Trylks 6 years, 1 month ago  # | flag

Nice, but how do you kill the thread after the timeout?

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