Tinderbox Forum

Many pending tasks - explanation?

Hi all,

Not sure what is causing this, but Tbox inspector can display a huge number of “pending tasks” that don’t go away even after a doc is closed.

I use 8 tbox documents actively - 4 of them have agents (pretty basic stuff, search results for text strings or non-blank attributes).

When I launch Tinderbox, the “pending tasks” area shows “null”.

Then, I load one of my docs containing an agent - “pending tasks” rises to 826; and stays there (occasionally rising up to 829, then back down to 826). Closing that document has no impact on the “pending tasks” count, even minutes later. Quitting/re-launching Tinderbox reverts the “pending tasks” to null.

However - if I delete all agents from that document, then save, quit, and relaunch Tinderbox and re-open that document, the “pending tasks” stays at null.

If I re-add the same agent again, the behavior described above is exactly replicated.

What’s this about, and should I even be concerned?

Thanks,
Art

For other readers, this relates to this, the Agents & Rules Inspector.

Looking at the aTbRef master TBX that I happen to have open, pending task (unlike tis the grab at the link above to be the sum (140) of the agents (120) and rules (17), although automatic agent updates are off. If I turn agent updating on, the count shoots to >5.2k.

I think the pending count shows you the overall number of agent queries, agent aliases’ agent actions & note rules still to be run in the current agent cycle (whose progress is also reflected in the circular progress bar in the Network section of the Inspector.

I think the ‘pending’ count is actually moot when agent automatic updating is off - and should probably be zero-ed out in that scenario (I’ll report it on). Otherwise is gives to some sense of how much work is going on behind the curtain.

So, no, don’t be concerned! These features were added mainly for a smaller number of users who make documents that push actions/agents quite herd and needed some way

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Don’t worry about the number of pending tasks.

A few hundred, or a few thousand, pending tasks is nothing to worry about. “Pending tasks” are all sorts of work that Tinderbox needs to do, but that aren’t as important as responding to you when you want to do something. This is one of the ways, too, that Tinderbox takes advantage of the multiple processors in your Macintosh.

In some rare cases, it is theoretically possible that Tinderbox might find itself with so much to do that it can never catch up. In that situation, Tinderbox would fall farther and farther behind — and pending tasks would get bigger and bigger indefinitely. If that happens to you, do let us know! (As far as I know, it’s only been experienced by one, perhaps two, users of any version.)

At the moment, we consider >6000 pending tasks a sign of stress, but even that won’t cause trouble. If you ever see 10,000 pending tasks, give us a holler.

In former times, the number of pending tasks in the agent queue was a fairly good reflection of how much work Tinderbox was doing behind the scenes. That’s probably no longer true: he have lots of other task queues, many of which are more concerned with synchronizing actions among different parts of Tinderbox than with simply not interfering with your commands. But the agent queue remains the one you’re most likely to care about.

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