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AirBNB Opensources Chronos, a Cron Replacement 72

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the end-of-time dept.
First time accepted submitter victorhooi writes "AirBNB has open-sourced Chronos- a scheduler built around Apache Mesos (a cluster manager). The scheduler is distributed and fault-tolerant, and allows specifying jobs in ISO8601 repeating notation, as well as creating dependent jobs. There's also a snazzy web interface to track and manage jobs, as well as a RESTful API." It's under the Apache License as seems to be the fashion with businesses releasing software nowadays. It looks like it might be useful if you have to manage a lot of machines with interconnected recurring processes; I know I wish this had existed a few years ago.
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AirBNB Opensources Chronos, a Cron Replacement

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  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Monday March 18, 2013 @11:03PM (#43210403)
    This is not a replacement for cron. On an isolated machine, it would be foolish to trade cron for such a complicated beast. On many nodes, I understand it has benefits.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Here are some even simpler and securer alternatives:

      http://code.dogmap.org/runwhen/
      "runwhen is a set of utilities for running commands at particular times. With these tools, you can perform calculations on time values in various ways, and use those calculated times to determine how long a process should sleep before performing some task."

      http://ohse.de/uwe/uschedule.html

      http://untroubled.org/bcron/
      "This is bcron, a new cron system designed with secure operations in
      mind. To do this, the system is divided in

      • by jockm (233372)

        I'll give you simpler (potentially), but could you explain why you say these are more secure?

  • I wonder what the Khronos Group would have to say about the name of this project.
    • I wonder what the Khronos Group would have to say about the name of this project.

      They might snicker at the latinization of the name of the Greek god?

      • Where do I start ... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by recrudescence (1383489) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @12:05AM (#43210685)
        a) Chronos is actually correct (to the extent that the most accepted transliteration for the greek letter chi is 'ch' rather than 'kh') and means 'time'.
        b) If anything, it's actually the Khronos group which should be cowering in shame, since they are misspelling the name Kronos.
        c) Latin doesn't even have a 'ch' diphthong, except when transliterating Greek words (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch_%28digraph%29#Latin)
        d) The latinization of Kronos would have been Cronus, not Chronos.
        e) Strictly speaking, Kronos is a Titan, not a Greek God (except in the looser definition of Titans as deities in general)

        Fail.
    • Nothing.

  • Chronos looks very yummy. Over the years I've deployed a number of schedulers (launchd on OS X and Quartz come to mind) but cron always comes back because it's so available and flexible. While it has many shortcomings, it's reliable and easy to grasp. Chronos, with the ISO 8061 job scheduling syntax will have an edge over the nasty mess of launchd, and the cron-like extensions and idiosyncrasies in Quartz. The first glance at the GitHub pull shows clean code. I'm looking forward to taking it through it

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @12:20AM (#43210761)

      It's not a matter of fashion, it's a practical reality. No sane business wants to be the who defends the GPL in court. It'll be expensive and messy, and if the result goes against GNU/GPL "accepted wisdom", it will be a PR nightmare.

      Nonsense. The GPL is rock solid.
      You know how you can tell? It survived the heyday of Microsoft's monopoly without a court challenge.
      If Microsoft was afraid to tangle with the GPL at the height of its power, you better believe smaller fish will have an even harder time of it.

      No sane business wants to find out what the term "punitive damages" means when trying to violate the GPL for commercial gain.

      • You know how you can tell? It survived the heyday of Microsoft's monopoly without a court challenge.

        That's kinda like saying that I can smoke weed legally because I haven't been busted yet.

        • by gringer (252588)

          That's kinda like saying that I can smoke weed legally because I haven't been busted yet.

          More like saying you can smoke weed without legal worries because the US government hasn't busted anyone yet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Stop spouting nonsense. Using GPL software such as a cron scheduler would in no way result in a company going to court.

      • True. For example: While Apple developed launched and uses it pretty exclusively, they haven't removed cron from OS X. And if you put something in the cron tab, it'll run as expected.

        • s/launched/launchd/

          I love autocorrect... except when I don't.

        • by Aaden42 (198257)

          While Apple developed launchd and uses it pretty exclusively, they haven't removed cron from OS X.

          That's rather moot as Apple's cron isn't covered by GPL. They use vixie cron which is BSD licensed.

    • by ciurana (2603)

      Thanks all for your comments.

      I'm not arguing for or against the *GPL licenses myself. All I'm saying is that I've experienced enough funding or acquisition due diligence processes to have heard from the acquiring/funding party's counsel that *GPL code must either be replaced with a viable alternative, or that the deal might be called off. Other people have had other experiences, and of course there are companies (e.g. Percona, Red Hat) who are doing well with it.

      The ventures in which I've been involved (o

      • by ciurana (2603)

        By the way -- I don't think legal/business concerns are about the solidity of the license. The concerns are about the aspects that could be hostile to business and investment.

        Remember that not everyone wants to make their bacon by offering consulting or other professional services.

        Some people want to build and offer finished, successful products that some enterprising licensor may feel are worth pursuing in court over some obscure clause, very much like patent trolls and other IP holders of dubious value g

      • by hweimer (709734)

        I'm not arguing for or against the *GPL licenses myself. All I'm saying is that I've experienced enough funding or acquisition due diligence processes to have heard from the acquiring/funding party's counsel that *GPL code must either be replaced with a viable alternative, or that the deal might be called off.

        While I understand that this can happen, it effectively means you are advocating against using the GPL not based on the actual content of the license, but because of the (quite likely irrational) behavior of a third party.

        • by ciurana (2603)

          While I understand that this can happen, it effectively means you are advocating against using the GPL not based on the actual content of the license, but because of the (quite likely irrational) behavior of a third party.

          If it makes business sense to use *GPL I'll be the first one to advocate it. If there's no reason for it, and an Apache licensed component is available, I'll advocate that. It all depends on the business model and whom I'm advising. If I advise against using code under any particular license is precisely because the license content could have an adverse effect on the business.

          I've licensed my own code under GPLv2 when it made sense, under Apache at times, and under BSD most of the time. If we're talking

    • The GPL has been already effectively tested in court, repeatedly. Unfortunately, intellectual property lawyers are scared of the GPL. I discussed it with one 8 days ago: they consider it dangerously viral. I'm trying to arrange a lunch so we can sit down and go over the details of it, so they can understand why I much prefer to use it and I can give examples of companies who pretend to be open source but drive engineer like me nuts when their commercial versions of their "open source" tools break and we can

      • I can't easily re-use the work on other projects because I've _already signed_ intellectual property licenses with a previous company under an Apache license

        Out of interest, can you link to the clause in the APL2 license that causes this difficulty? It's not something I heard before and something I hadn't considered.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        The GPL has been already effectively tested in court, repeatedly. Unfortunately, intellectual property lawyers are scared of the GPL. I discussed it with one 8 days ago: they consider it dangerously viral. I'm trying to arrange a lunch so we can sit down and go over the details of it, so they can understand why I much prefer to use it and I can give examples of companies who pretend to be open source but drive engineer like me nuts when their commercial versions of their "open source" tools break and we can

  • Seriously, why isn't this on freshmeat instead of /.? How the fawq is this news??

  • I'm curious to see how this stacks up against BMC's control-m product. These schedulers are useful when managing 1000's of machines running interdependent jobs.

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