Handlers

Handlers are Python functions with the actual behaviour of the custom resources.

They are called when any custom resource (within the scope of the operator) is created, modified, or deleted.

Any operator built with Kopf is based on handlers.

Events & Causes

Kubernetes only notifies when something is changed in the object, but it does not clarify what was changed.

More on that, since Kopf stores the state of the handlers on the object itself, these state changes also cause the events, which are seen by the operators and any other watchers.

To hide the complexity of the state storing, Kopf provides the cause detection: whenever an event happens for the object, the framework detects what happened actually, as follows:

  • Was the object just created?

  • Was the object deleted (marked for deletion)?

  • Was the object edited, and which fields specifically were edited, from what old values into what new values?

These causes, in turn, trigger the appropriate handlers, passing the detected information to the keyword arguments.

Registering

To register a handler for an event, use the kopf.on decorator:

import kopf

@kopf.on.create('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def my_handler(spec, **_):
    pass

All available decorators are described below.

Event-watching handlers

Low-level events can be intercepted and handled silently, without storing the handlers’ status (errors, retries, successes) on the object.

This can be useful if the operator needs to watch over the objects of another operator or controller, without adding its own data.

The following event-handler is available:

import kopf

@kopf.on.event('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def my_handler(event, **_):
    pass

If the event handler fails, the error is logged to the operator’s log, and then ignored.

Note

Please note that the event handlers are invoked for every event received from the watching stream. This also includes the first-time listing when the operator starts or restarts.

It is the developer’s responsibility to make the handlers idempotent (re-executable with no duplicating side-effects).

State-changing handlers

Kopf goes further and beyond: it detects the actual causes of these events, i.e. what actually happened to the object:

  • Was the object just created?

  • Was the object deleted (marked for deletion)?

  • Was the object edited, and which fields specifically were edited, from which old values to which new values?

Note

Worth noting that Kopf stores the status of the handlers, such as their progress or errors or retries, in the object itself (.status stanza), which triggers its own low-level events, but these events are not detected as separate causes, as there is nothing changed essentially.

The following 3 core cause-handlers are available:

import kopf

@kopf.on.create('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def my_handler(spec, **_):
    pass

@kopf.on.update('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def my_handler(spec, old, new, diff, **_):
    pass

@kopf.on.delete('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def my_handler(spec, **_):
    pass

Note

Kopf’s finalizers will be added to the object when there are delete handlers specified. Finalizers block Kubernetes from fully deleting objects, and Kubernetes will only actually delete objects when all finalizers are removed, i.e. only if the Kopf operator is running to remove them (check: kubectl freezes on object deletion for a work-around). If a delete handler is added but finalizers are not required to block the actual deletion, i.e. the handler is optional, the optional argument optional=True can be passed to the delete cause decorator.

Resuming handlers

An special kind of handlers can be used for cases when the operator restarts and detects an object that existed before:

@kopf.on.resume('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def my_handler(spec, **_):
    pass

This handler can be used to start threads or asyncio tasks or to update a global state to keep it consistent with the actual state of the cluster. With the resuming handler in addition to creation/update/deletion handlers, no object will be left unattended even if it does not change over time.

The resuming handlers are guaranteed to execute only once per operator life time for each individual resource (except if errors are retried).

Normally, the resume handlers are mixed-in to the creation and updating handling cycles, and are executed in the order they are declared.

It is a common pattern to declare both creation and resuming handler pointing to the same function, so that this function is called either when an object is created (“started) while the operator is alive (“exists”), or when the operator is started (“created”) when the object is existent (“alive”):

@kopf.on.resume('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
@kopf.on.create('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def my_handler(spec, **_):
    pass

However, the resuming handlers are not called if the object has been deleted during the operator downtime or restart, and the deletion handlers are now being invoked.

This is done intentionally to prevent the cases when the resuming handlers start threads/tasks or allocate the resources, and the deletion handlers stop/free them: it can happen so that the resuming handlers would be executed after the deletion handlers, thus starting threads/tasks and never stopping them. For example:

TASKS = {}

@kopf.on.delete('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
async def my_handler(spec, name, **_):
    if name in TASKS:
        TASKS[name].cancel()

@kopf.on.resume('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
@kopf.on.create('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def my_handler(spec, **_):
    if name not in TASKS:
        TASKS[name] = asyncio.create_task(some_coroutine(spec))

In this example, if the operator starts and notices an object that is marked for deletion, the deletion handler will be called, but the resuming handler is not called at all, despite the object was noticed to exist out there. Otherwise, there would be a resource (e.g. memory) leak.

If the resume handlers are still desired during the deletion handling, they can be explicitly marked as compatible with the deleted state of the object with deleted=True option:

@kopf.on.resume('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples', deleted=True)
def my_handler(spec, **_):
    pass

In that case, both the deletion and resuming handlers will be invoked. It is the developer’s responsibility to ensure this does not lead to the memory leaks.

Field handlers

Specific fields can be handled instead of the whole object:

import kopf

@kopf.on.field('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples', field='spec.somefield')
def somefield_changed(old, new, **_):
    pass

There is no special detection of the causes for the fields, such as create/update/delete, so the field-handler is efficient only when the object is updated.

Sub-handlers

Warning

Sub-handlers are an advanced topic. Please, make sure you understand the regular handlers first, so as the handling cycle of the framework.

A common example for this feature are the lists defined in the spec, each of which should be handled with a handler-like approach rather than explicitly – i.e. with the error tracking, retries, logging, progress and status reporting, etc.

This can be used with dynamically created functions, such as lambdas, partials (functools.partial), or the inner functions in the closures:

spec:
  items:
    - item1
    - item2

Sub-handlers can be implemented either imperatively:

import functools
import kopf

@kopf.on.create('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def create_fn(spec, **_):
    fns = {}

    for item in spec.get('items', []):
        fns[item] = functools.partial(handle_item, item=item)

   kopf.execute(fns)

def handle_item(item, *, spec, **_):
    pass

Or decoratively:

import kopf

@kopf.on.create('zalando.org', 'v1', 'kopfexamples')
def create_fn(spec, **_):

    for item in spec.get('items', []):

        @kopf.on.this(id=item)
        def handle_item(item=item, **_):

            pass

Both of these ways are equivalent. It is a matter of taste and preference which one to use.

The sub-handlers will be processed by all the standard rules and cycles of the Kopf’s handling cycle, as if they were the regular handlers with the ids like create_fn/item1, create_fn/item2, etc.

Warning

The sub-handler functions, their code or their arguments, are not remembered on the object between the handling cycles.

Instead, their parent handler is considered as not finished, and it is called again and again to register the sub-handlers until all the sub-handlers of that parent handler are finished, so that the parent handler also becomes finished.

As such, the parent handler SHOULD NOT produce any side-effects except as the read-only parsing of the inputs (e.g. spec), and generating the dynamic functions of the sub-handlers.