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Core Java Interview Questions and Answers

Test your skills through the online practice test: Core Java Quiz Online Practice Test

Ques 136. What synchronization constructs does Java provide? How do they work?

The two common features that are used are:
1. Synchronized keyword - Used to synchronize a method or a block of code. When you synchronize a method, you are in effect synchronizing the code within the method using the monitor of the current object for the lock.
The following have the same effect.
synchronized void foo() {
void foo() {
synchronized(this) {
If you synchronize a static method, then you are synchronizing across all objects of the same class, i.e. the monitor you are using for the lock is one per class, not one per object.
2. wait/notify. wait() needs to be called from within a synchronized block. It will first release the lock acquired from the synchronization and then wait for a signal. In Posix C, this part is equivalent to the pthread_cond_wait method, which waits for an OS signal to continue. When somebody calls notify() on the object, this will signal the code which has been waiting, and the code will continue from that point. If there are several sections of code that are in the wait state, you can call notifyAll() which will notify all threads that are waiting on the monitor for the current object. Remember that both wait() and notify() have to be called from blocks of code that are synchronized on the monitor for the current object.

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Ques 137. Do I need to use synchronized on setValue(int)?

It depends whether the method affects method local variables, class static or instance variables. If only method local variables are changed, the value is said to be confined by the method and is not prone to threading issues.

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Ques 138. Which class is the wait() method defined in?

The wait() method is defined in the Object class, which is the ultimate superclass of all others. So the Thread class and any Runnable implementation inherit this method from Object. The wait() method is normally called on an object in a multi-threaded program to allow other threads to run. The method should should only be called by a thread that has ownership of the object monitor, which usually means it is in a synchronized method or statement block.

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Ques 139. Which class is the wait() method defined in? I get incompatible return type for my thread getState( ) method!

It sounds like your application was built for a Java software development kit before Java 1.5. The Java API Thread class method getState() was introduced in version 1.5. Your thread method has the same name but different return type. The compiler assumes your application code is attempting to override the API method with a different return type, which is not allowed, hence the compilation error.

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Ques 140. What is a working thread?

A working thread, more commonly known as a worker thread is the key part of a design pattern that allocates one thread to execute one task. When the task is complete, the thread may return to a thread pool for later use. In this scheme a thread may execute arbitrary tasks, which are passed in the form of a Runnable method argument, typically execute(Runnable). The runnable tasks are usually stored in a queue until a thread host is available to run them. The worker thread design pattern is usually used to handle many concurrent tasks where it is not important which finishes first and no single task needs to be coordinated with another. The task queue controls how many threads run concurrently to improve the overall performance of the system. However, a worker thread framework requires relatively complex programming to set up, so should not be used where simpler threading techniques can achieve similar results.

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