--- jsr166/src/main/intro.html 2003/05/16 14:13:04 1.1 +++ jsr166/src/main/intro.html 2003/08/06 17:40:20 1.11 @@ -1,200 +1,101 @@ - JSR 166 Snapshot Introduction. + JSR 166 Community Review Draft Introduction. -

JSR 166 Snapshot Introduction.

+

JSR 166 Community Review Draft Introduction.

by Doug Lea

-To join a mailing list discussing this JSR, go to: - http://altair.cs.oswego.edu/mailman/listinfo/concurrency-interest . - -

- - Disclaimer - This prototype is experimental code developed as part of - JSR166 and made available to the developer community for use - as-is. It is not a supported product. Use it at your own risk. The - specification, language and implementation are subject to change as a - result of your feedback. Because these features have not yet been - approved for addition to the Java language, there is no schedule for - their inclusion in a product. - - -

-Package java.util.concurrent contains utility classes that are -commonly useful in concurrent programming. Like package java.util, it -includes a few small standardized extensible frameworks, as well as -some classes that provide useful functionality and are otherwise -tedious or difficult to implement. In this JSR, we have been -conservative in selecting only those APIs and implementations that are -useful enough to encourage nearly all concurrent programmers to use -routinely. JSR 166 also includes a few changes and additions in -packages outside of java.util.concurrent: java.lang, to address -uncaught exceptions, and java.util to better integrate queues. -The API covers: - -

- - -The main rationale for JSR 166 is that threading primitives, such as -synchronized blocks, Object.wait and Object.notify, are insufficient -for many programming tasks. Currently, developers can use only the -concurrency control constructs provided in the Java language -itself. These are too low level for some applications, and are -incomplete for others. As a result, application programmers are often -forced to implement their own concurrency facilities, resulting in -enormous duplication of effort creating facilities that are -notoriously hard to get right and even harder to optimize. Offering a -standard set of concurrency utilities will ease the task of writing a -wide variety of multithreaded applications and generally improve the -quality of the applications that use them. - -

-Here are brief descriptions and rationales of the main components. -For details see the javadocs at http://gee.cs.oswego.edu/dl/concurrent/index.html - +To check for updates to this draft, access a preliminary prototype +release of main functionality, or join a mailing list discussing this +JSR, go to: +http://altair.cs.oswego.edu/mailman/listinfo/concurrency-interest +. +

+ + Disclaimer. The prototype implementation is experimental +code developed as part of JCP JSR-166 is made available to the +developer community for use as-is. It is not a supported product. Use +it at your own risk. The specification, language and implementation +are subject to change as a result of your feedback. Because these +features have not yet been approved for addition to the Java language, +there is no schedule for their inclusion in a product. + +

Disclaimer. This draft specification was produced +using JDK1.4 tools plus some preprocessing. The resulting javadocs do +not yet correctly render other planned JDK1.5 constructs on which +JSR-166 relies, most notably the use of generic types. We are +releasing this version now (before the availability of JDK1.5-based +tools) because, even though they are misformatted and sometimes lack +proper cross-referencing, they otherwise convey the intended +specifications. + +

JSR-166 introduces package java.util.concurrent +containing utility classes commonly useful in concurrent +programming. Like package java.util, it includes a few small +standardized extensible frameworks, as well as some classes that +provide useful functionality and are otherwise tedious or difficult to +implement. + +

JSR-166 focusses on breadth, providing critical functionality +useful across a wide range of concurrent programming styles and +applications, ranging from low-level atomic operations, to +customizable locks and synchronization aids, to various concurrent +data structures, to high-level execution agents including thread +pools. This diversity reflects the range of contexts in which +developers of concurrent programs have been found to require or desire +support not previously available in J2SE, which also keeping the +resulting package small; providing only that minimial support for +which it makes sense to standardize. + +

Descriptions and brief motivations for the main components may be +found in the associated package documentation. JSR-166 also includes +a few changes and additions in packages outside of +java.util.concurrent. Here are brief descriptions.

Queues

-A basic (nonblocking) Queue interface that is compatatible with -java.util.Collections will be introduced into java.util. Also, -although it is at the borders of being in scope of JSR-166, -java.util.LinkedList will be adapted to support Queue, and -a new non-thread-safe java.util.HeapPriorityQueue will be added. - -

Five implementations in java.util.concurrent support the extended -BlockingQueue interface, that defines blocking versions of put and -take: LinkedBlockingQueue, ArrayBlockingQueue, SynchronousQueue, -PriorityBlockingQueue, and DelayQueue. Additionally, -java.util.concurrent.LinkedQueue supplies an efficient thread-safe -non-blocking queue. - -

Since the target release is JDK1.5, and generics are slated to be -in 1.5, Queues are parametrized on element type. (Also some others -below.) - - -

Executors

- -Executors provide a simple standardized interface for defining custom -thread-like subsystems, including thread pools, asynch-IO, and -lightweight task frameworks. Executors also standardize ways of -calling threads that compute functions returning results, via -Futures. This is supported in part by defining interface Callable, the -argument/result analog of Runnable. - -

While the Executor framework is intended to be extensible the most -commonly used Executor will be ThreadExecutor, which can be configured -to act as all sorts of thread pools, background threads, etc. The -class is designed to be general enough to suffice for the vast -majority of usages, even sophisticated ones, yet also includes methods -and functionality that simplify routine usage. - -

Locks

- -The Lock interface supports locking disciplines that differ in -semantics (reentrant, semaphore-based, etc), and that can be used in -non-block-structured contexts including hand-over-hand and lock -reordering algorithms. This flexibility comes at the price of more -awkward syntax. Implementations include Semaphore, ReentrantMutex -FIFOSemaphore, and CountDownLatch. +A basic (nonblocking) {@link java.util.Queue} interface extending +{@link java.util.Collection} is introduced into +java.util. Existing class {@link java.util.LinkedList} is +adapted to support Queue, and a new non-thread-safe {@link +java.util.PriorityQueue} is added. + +

Threads

+ +Two minor changes are introduced to the {@link java.lang.Thread} +class: It now allows per-thread installation of handlers for uncaught +exceptions. Ths optionally disassociates handlers from ThreadGroups, +which has proven to be too inflexible. (Note that the combination of +features in JSR-166 make ThreadGroups even less likely to be used in +most programs. Perhaps they will eventually be deprecated.) Secondly, +access checks are no longer required when a Thread interrupts +itself. The interrupt method is the only way to +re-assert a thread's interruption status (and in the case of +self-interruption has no other effect than this). The check here +previously caused unjustifiable and uncontrollable failures when +restricted code invoked library code that must reassert interruption +to correctly propagate status when encountering some +InterruptedExceptions. -

-The Locks class additionally supports trylock-designs using builtin -locks without needing to use Lock classes. This requires adding new -capabilities to builtin locks inside JVMs. - -

-A ReadWriteLock interface similarly defines locks that may be shared -among readers but are exclusive to writers. For this release, only a -single implementation, ReentrantReadWriteLock, is planned, since it -covers all standard usage contexts. But programmers may create their -own implementations to cover nonstandard requirements. - -

Conditions

- -A Condition class provides the kinds of condition variables associated -with monitors in other cocurrent languages, as well as pthreads -condvars. Their support reduces the need for tricky and/or -inefficient solutions to many classic concurrent problems. Conditions -also address the annoying problem that Object.wait(msecs) does not -return an indication of whether the wait timed out. This leads to -error-prone code. Since this method is in class Object, the problem is -basically unfixable. -

-To avoid compatibility problems, the names of Condition methods need -to be different than Object versions. The downside of this is that -people can make the mistake of calling cond.notify instead of -cond.signal. However, they will get IllegalMonitorState exceptions if -they do, so they can detect the error if they ever run the code. -

-The implementation requires VM magic to atomically suspend and release -lock. But it is unlikely to be very challenging for JVM providers, -since most layer Java monitors on top of posix condvars or similar -low-level functionality anyway. - -

Atomic variables

- -Classes AtomicInteger, AtomicLong, AtomicDouble, AtomicFloat, and -AtomicReference provide simple scalar variables supporting -compareAndSwap (CAS) and related atomic operations. These are -desparately needed by those performing low-level concurrent system -programming, but much less commonly useful in higher-level frameworks. +

Timing

+Method nanoTime is added to {@link java.lang.System}. It +provides a high-precision timing facility that is distinct from and +uncoordinated with System.currentTimeMillis. + +

Removing ThreadLocals

+ +The {@link java.lang.ThreadLocal} class now supports a means to remove +a ThreadLocal, which is needed in some thread-pool and worker-thread +designs. -

Timing

-Java has always supported sub-millisecond versions of several native -time-out-based methods (such as Object.wait), but not methods to -actually perform timing in finer-grained units. We address this by -introducing class Clock, which provides multiple granularities for -both accessing time and performing time-out based operations. - - -

Synchronizers

- -Five classes aid common special-purpose synchronization idioms. -Semaphores and FifoSemaphores are classic concurrency tools. Latches -are very simple yet very common objects useful for blocking until a -single signal, event, or condition holds. CyclicBarriers are -resettable multiway synchronization points very common in some styles -of parallel programming. Exchangers allow two threads to exchange -objects at a rendezvous point. - - -

Concurrent Collections

- -JSR 166 will supply a few Collection implementations designed for use -in multithreaded contexts: ConcurrentHashTable, CopyOnWriteArrayList, -and CopyOnWriteArraySet. - -

Uncaught Exception Handlers

- -The java.lang.Thread class will be modified to allow per-thread -installation of handlers for uncaught exceptions. Ths optionally -disassociates these handlers from ThreadGroups, which has proven to be -too inflexible in many multithreaded programs. (Note that the combination -of features in JSR 166 make ThreadGroups even less likely to -be used in most programs. Perhaps they will eventually be deprecated.) -

-Additionally, ThreadLocals will now support a means to -remove a ThreadLocals, which is needed in some thread-pool and -worker-thread designs.


Doug Lea