--- jsr166/src/main/intro.html 2003/06/04 11:33:01 1.2 +++ jsr166/src/main/intro.html 2004/07/29 11:44:00 1.17 @@ -1,208 +1,95 @@ - JSR 166 Snapshot Introduction. + JSR 166 Introduction. -

JSR 166 Snapshot Introduction.

+

JSR 166 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 - +This is the final JSR166 specification submitted to JCP. For further +information, go to: +http://altair.cs.oswego.edu/mailman/listinfo/concurrency-interest. + +

Note: The javadocs here includes some existing java.util +Collection interfaces and classes that are not part of the JSR-166 +spec, but are included because JSR-166 methods implement or inherit +from their 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 other 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 functionality that has been +found to be worthwhile 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.PriorityQueue 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. - -

Executors provide a framework for executing Runnables. The -Executor manages queueing and scheduling of tasks, and creation and -teardown of threads. Depending on which concrete Executor class is -being used, tasks may execute in a newly created thread, an existing -task-execution thread, or the thread calling execute(), and may -execute sequentially or concurrently. - -

Several concrete implementations of Executor are included in -java.util.concurrent, including ThreadPoolExecutor, a flexible thread -pool and ScheduledExecutor, which adds support for delayed and -periodic task execution. Executor can be used in conjunction with -FutureTask (which implements Runnable) to asynchronously start a -potentially long-running computation and query the FutureTask to -determine if its execution has completed. - -

The Executors class provides factory methods for all -of the types of executors provided in -java.util.concurrent. - - -

Locks

- -The Lock interface supports locking disciplines that differ in -semantics (reentrant, fair, 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 ReentrantLock and -FairReentrantLock. - -

-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. - - -

Atomic variables

- -The atomic subpackage includes a small library of classes, including -AtomicInteger, AtomicLong, and AtomicReference that support variables -performinf compareAndSet (CAS) and related atomic operations. +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

+ +Three minor changes are introduced to the {@link java.lang.Thread} +class: +

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 TimeUnit, 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 FairSemaphores are classic concurrency tools. -CountDownLatches 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. +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

-

Concurrent Collections

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

Uncaught Exception Handlers

+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. -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 -ThreadLocal, which is needed in some thread-pool and worker-thread -designs.


-
Doug Lea