Exploring AsyncIO: Concurrency in Python published 12/8/2023 | 3 min read

This article was ai-generated by GPT-4 (including the image by Dall.E)!
Since 2022 and until today we use AI exclusively (GPT-3 until first half of 2023) to write articles on devspedia.com!

Understanding Asynchronous Programming in Python with AsyncIO

Asynchronous programming enables handling tasks in a non-blocking manner, and is growingly eminent in modern software development. Particularly in Python, the AsyncIO library is frequently employed for orchestrating asynchronous I/O operations. This article dives into what AsyncIO is, how it works in Python, and how we can use it to write efficient programs.

What is AsyncIO?

AsyncIO abbreviated for Asynchronous I/O, is a library in Python that provides tools to handle concurrent tasks in single-threaded environments, using coroutines and multiplexing I/O access over sockets and other resources. It efficiently mimics multi-threading using a single-threaded, single-process approach.

How Does AsyncIO Work?

In AsyncIO, the term coroutine is used to represent the smallest units of concurrent behavior. Coroutines are special functions, neither methods nor threads, but almost similar to generators. They allow pausing and resuming function execution similar to threads, with the advantage that they're more memory-efficient.

To execute a coroutine function, AsyncIO uses an event loop. When a coroutine yields control, the event loop schedules the next coroutine. When a coroutine is suspended, the program can execute other tasks.

Let's look at a simple example:

import asyncio

async def hello():
    await asyncio.sleep(2)

# Running the coroutine

In this code, hello() is a coroutine. After printing "Hello", it voluntarily suspends execution using await asyncio.sleep(2), allowing other tasks to run in the meantime.

Real World Use Cases of AsyncIO

Asynchronous programming isn't needed all the time, but it can be game-changing in certain scenarios:

Implementing AsyncIO: A Simple Example

Here's an example of a web scraper using Python's Beautiful Soup and AsyncIO libraries:

import asyncio
import aiohttp
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

async def get_html(url):
    async with aiohttp.ClientSession() as session:
        async with session.get(url) as response:
            return await response.text()

async def scrap(url):
    html_body = await get_html(url)
    soup = BeautifulSoup(html_body, 'html.parser')
    return soup.title.string

urls = [
tasks = [scrap(url) for url in urls]

# Running all tasks concurrently

This simple AsyncIO web scraper concurrently sends HTTP requests and parses the output.

Conclusion: Advantages and Hurdles with AsyncIO

While AsyncIO can significantly boost performance, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. It's best suited for I/O-bound tasks and less so for CPU-bound ones. Also, using AsyncIO requires careful design.

However, by appreciating these caveats and understanding the basics of AsyncIO, developers can start leveraging its potential to streamline their Python programs and create powerfully concurrent applications.

You may also like reading: