A question about Java Thread

Discussion in 'Java' started by JTL.zheng, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. JTL.zheng

    JTL.zheng Guest

    I see a code like this:

    in a Thread:
    --------------------------
    public void run() {

    Thread currentThread = Thread.currentThread();

    while (thread == currentThread) {

    try {
    repaint();
    thread.sleep(100);
    }
    catch (InterruptedException ex) {
    }

    }
    }
    ---------------------------

    what's the "while (thread == currentThread) " codes mean?
    what is it used for?

    Thank you in advance.
     
    JTL.zheng, Jun 14, 2007
    #1
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  2. JTL.zheng

    Lew Guest

    JTL.zheng wrote:
    > I see a code like this:
    >
    > in a Thread:
    > --------------------------
    > public void run() {
    >
    > Thread currentThread = Thread.currentThread();
    >
    > while (thread == currentThread) {
    >
    > try {
    > repaint();
    > thread.sleep(100);
    > }
    > catch (InterruptedException ex) {
    > }
    >
    > }
    > }
    > ---------------------------
    >
    > what's the "while (thread == currentThread) " codes mean?
    > what is it used for?


    There really needs to be more context to be certain. I will make a guess,
    though. Apparently 'thread' is an instance variable or final method variable
    from outside the Runnable that keeps track of some sort of "active" Thread
    knowledge.

    If you provide a short, complete example we'll know better.

    One observation - the code you're reading might be flawed. It uses the expression

    thread.sleep(100);

    But sleep() is a static method, so it should not be called via the instance
    'thread' but via the class 'Thread':

    Thread.sleep(100);

    The instance reference implies to some people that sleep() operates on the
    specified instance; it does not, necessarily. (In this example it works
    because the logic 'thread == currentThread' guarantees that 'thread' refers to
    the current Thread, so the two idioms are equivalent this time, luckily.)

    To make the logic clear, static methods should be called via class references,
    not object references.

    --
    Lew
     
    Lew, Jun 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. Lew wrote:
    > JTL.zheng wrote:
    >> I see a code like this:
    >>
    >> in a Thread:
    >> --------------------------
    >> public void run() {
    >>
    >> Thread currentThread = Thread.currentThread();
    >>
    >> while (thread == currentThread) {
    >>
    >> try {
    >> repaint();
    >> thread.sleep(100);
    >> }
    >> catch (InterruptedException ex) {
    >> }
    >>
    >> }
    >> }
    >> ---------------------------
    >>
    >> what's the "while (thread == currentThread) " codes mean?
    >> what is it used for?

    >
    > There really needs to be more context to be certain. I will make a
    > guess, though. Apparently 'thread' is an instance variable or final
    > method variable from outside the Runnable that keeps track of some sort
    > of "active" Thread knowledge.
    >
    > If you provide a short, complete example we'll know better.
    >
    > One observation - the code you're reading might be flawed. It uses the
    > expression
    >
    > thread.sleep(100);
    >
    > But sleep() is a static method, so it should not be called via the
    > instance 'thread' but via the class 'Thread':
    >
    > Thread.sleep(100);
    >
    > The instance reference implies to some people that sleep() operates on
    > the specified instance; it does not, necessarily. (In this example it
    > works because the logic 'thread == currentThread' guarantees that
    > 'thread' refers to the current Thread, so the two idioms are equivalent
    > this time, luckily.)
    >
    > To make the logic clear, static methods should be called via class
    > references, not object references.
    >


    This used to be a fairly commonly seen bit of code for applets. The
    thread reference is changed somewhere else (eg. the stop method) to end
    the execution of this run method. You don't see many people writing
    applets or asking questions about them here very often.

    --

    Knute Johnson
    email s/nospam/knute/
     
    Knute Johnson, Jun 14, 2007
    #3
  4. JTL.zheng

    Marco Guest

    JTL.zheng wrote:
    > I see a code like this:
    >
    > in a Thread:
    > --------------------------
    > public void run() {
    >
    > Thread currentThread = Thread.currentThread();
    >
    > while (thread == currentThread) {
    >
    > try {
    > repaint();
    > thread.sleep(100);
    > }
    > catch (InterruptedException ex) {
    > }
    >
    > }
    > }
    > ---------------------------
    >
    > what's the "while (thread == currentThread) " codes mean?
    > what is it used for?


    Usually one uses such constructs to determine the validity of the
    thread. That means a Thread-Object holds a reference to itself ("thread"
    in the example) which can be set to null from the _outside_ of the
    thread. Any 100 ms the thread awakes and checks if it's "thread"
    reference still points to itself or has been set to null. If it has been
    set to null, the thread exits the while loop and therefore the run()
    method returns (say: thread is dead).

    whenever you see such constructs, you can be sure they are used to
    signal the thread to exit.

    But one more Point: Don't use the ref-name "thread" for a reference to a
    "Thread" Object! This can easily be misunderstood.
     
    Marco, Jun 15, 2007
    #4
  5. JTL.zheng

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Thu, 14 Jun 2007 10:20:29 -0700, "JTL.zheng" <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    > while (thread == currentThread) {


    the key to understanding is that "thread" is not a field of the Thread
    class. It is an outside variable used for communicating with the
    thread.

    By fiddling with the value of thread, the repaint/sleep can be turned
    on or off. In other words, the run method can be optionally turned
    into a dummy that does nothing. Consider that is possible to invoke
    the run method without using start to create a new thread. To figure
    out exactly precisely what this guy is going we would have to see the
    whole program.
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    The Java Glossary
    http://mindprod.com
     
    Roedy Green, Jun 15, 2007
    #5
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