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You Can't Spoil Java with Threads: Part IV - Callable, Future, and Friends

Published in the Random EN group


We already looked at how threads are created in Part 1 . Let's remember again. You Can't Spoil Java with Threads: Part IV - Callable, Future, and Friends - 1A thread is Threadsomething running in it run, so let's use tutorialspoint java online compiler and run the following code:
public class HelloWorld {

    public static void main(String []args){
        Runnable task = () -> {
            System.out.println("Hello World");
        new Thread(task).start();
Is this the only way to start a task in a thread?


It turns out that java.lang.Runnable has a brother and his name is java.util.concurrent.Callable and he was born in Java 1.5. What are the differences? If we take a closer look at the JavaDoc of this interface, we see that, unlike Runnable, the new interface declares a method callthat returns a result. Also, it throws Exception by default. That is, it saves us from the need to write try-catchblocks for checked exceptions. Already good, right? Now we have Runnablea new task instead:
Callable task = () -> {
	return "Hello, World!";
But what to do with it? Why do we even need a task running on a thread that returns a result? Obviously, in the future we expect to receive the result of actions that will be performed in the future. Future in English - Future. And there is an interface with exactly the same name:java.util.concurrent.Future


The java.util.concurrent.Future interface describes an API for working with tasks whose results we plan to receive in the future: methods for obtaining the result, methods for checking the status. We Futureare interested in its implementation of java.util.concurrent.FutureTask . That is Task, it is to be executed in Future. What makes this implementation even more interesting is that it implements and Runnable. You can think of it as a sort of adapter between the old threading model and the new model (new in the sense that it was introduced in java 1.5). Here is an example:
import java.util.concurrent.Callable;
import java.util.concurrent.FutureTask;

public class HelloWorld {

    public static void main(String []args) throws Exception {
        Callable task = () -> {
            return "Hello, World!";
        FutureTask<String> future = new FutureTask<>(task);
        new Thread(future).start();
getAs you can see from the example, we get the result from the task using the method task. (!)Important, that at the moment the result is received using the method, getthe execution becomes synchronous. What mechanism do you think will be used here? That's right, there is no synchronization block - therefore, we will see WAITING in JVisualVM not as monitoror wait, but as the same one park(because the mechanism is used LockSupport).

Functional interfaces

Next, we will talk about classes from Java 1.8, so it will not be superfluous to make a brief introduction. Let's look at the following code:
Supplier<String> supplier = new Supplier<String>() {
	public String get() {
		return "String";
Consumer<String> consumer = new Consumer<String>() {
	public void accept(String s) {
Function<String, Integer> converter = new Function<String, Integer>() {
	public Integer apply(String s) {
		return Integer.valueOf(s);
How much extra code, right? Each of the declared classes performs a single function, but to describe it, we use a bunch of extra helper code. And the Java developers thought so too. Therefore, they introduced a set of "functional interfaces" ( @FunctionalInterface) and decided that now Java itself will "think out" everything for us, except for the important:
Supplier<String> supplier = () -> "String";
Consumer<String> consumer = s -> System.out.println(s);
Function<String, Integer> converter = s -> Integer.valueOf(s);
Supplier- provider. It has no parameters, but returns something, i.e. supplies it. Consumer- consumer. It takes something as input (parameter s) and does something with it, that is, it consumes something. There is another function. It takes something as input (parameter s), does something and returns something. As we can see, generics are actively used. In case of uncertainty, you can remember about them and read " The theory of generics in Java or how to put brackets in practice ".


As time went on, Java 1.8 introduced a new class called CompletableFuture. It implements the interface Future, that is, ours taskwill be executed in the future, and we will be able to execute getand get the result. But it also implements some CompletionStage. From the translation, its purpose is already clear: this is a certain stage (Stage) of some calculations. For a brief introduction to the topic, see Introduction to CompletionStage and CompletableFuture . Let's get straight to the point. Let's take a look at the list of available static methods to help us get started: You Can't Spoil Java with Threads: Part IV - Callable, Future, and Friends - 2Here are some examples of how to use them:
import java.util.concurrent.CompletableFuture;
public class App {
    public static void main(String []args) throws Exception {
        // CompletableFuture уже содержащий результат
        CompletableFuture<String> completed;
        completed = CompletableFuture.completedFuture("Просто meaning");
        // CompletableFuture, запускающий (run) новый поток с Runnable, поэтому он Void
        CompletableFuture<Void> voidCompletableFuture;
        voidCompletableFuture = CompletableFuture.runAsync(() -> {
            System.out.println("run " + Thread.currentThread().getName());
        // CompletableFuture, запускающий новый поток, результат которого возьмём у Supplier
        CompletableFuture<String> supplier;
        supplier = CompletableFuture.supplyAsync(() -> {
            System.out.println("supply " + Thread.currentThread().getName());
            return "Значение";
If we execute this code, we will see that creation CompletableFutureimplies the launch of the entire chain. Therefore, with some similarity with the SteamAPI from Java8, this is the difference between these approaches. For example:
List<String> array = Arrays.asList("one", "two");
Stream<String> stringStream = -> {
	return value.toUpperCase();
This is a Java 8 Stream Api example (you can read more about it here " Java 8 Stream API Guide with Pictures and Examples "). If you run this code, it Executedwill not display. That is, when creating a stream in Java, the stream does not start immediately, but waits for a value to be wanted from it. But CompletableFutureit launches the chain for execution immediately, without waiting for it to be asked for the calculated value. I think it's important to understand this. So we have a CompletableFuture. How can we make a chain and what means do we have? Recall the functional interfaces that we wrote about earlier.
  • We have a function ( Function) that takes A and returns B. It has a single method - apply(apply).
  • We have a consumer ( Consumer) that accepts A and returns nothing (Void). Has a single method - accept(accept).
  • We have code running on a thread Runnablethat does not accept or return. It has a single method - run(run).
The second thing to remember is that it uses consumers and functions CompletalbeFuturein its work . RunnableGiven this, you can always remember what CompletableFutureyou can do with like this:
public static void main(String []args) throws Exception {
        AtomicLong longValue = new AtomicLong(0);
        Runnable task = () -> longValue.set(new Date().getTime());
        Function<Long, Date> dateConverter = (longvalue) -> new Date(longvalue);
        Consumer<Date> printer = date -> {
        // CompletableFuture computation
                         .thenApply((v) -> longValue.get())
Methods thenRun, thenApplyand thenAccepthave versions Async. This means that these stages will be executed in a new thread. It will be taken from a special pool, so it is not known in advance which stream will be, new or old. It all depends on how difficult the tasks are. In addition to these methods, there are three more interesting possibilities. For clarity, let's imagine that we have a certain service that receives some message from somewhere and it takes time:
public static class NewsService {
	public static String getMessage() {
		try {
			return "Message";
		} catch (InterruptedException e) {
			throw new IllegalStateException(e);
Now, let's look at other features that CompletableFuture. We can combine the result CompletableFuturewith the result of another CompletableFuture:
Supplier newsSupplier = () -> NewsService.getMessage();

CompletableFuture<String> reader = CompletableFuture.supplyAsync(newsSupplier);
				 .thenCombine(reader, (a, b) -> b + a)
				 .thenAccept(result -> System.out.println(result))
It's worth noting here that threads will be daemon threads by default, so for clarity we use getto wait for the result. And we can not only combine (combine), but also return CompletableFuture:
				.thenCompose((val) -> CompletableFuture.completedFuture(val + 2))
                               .thenAccept(result -> System.out.println(result));
Here I would like to note that for brevity, the method is used CompletableFuture.completedFuture. This method does not create a new thread, so the rest of the chain will be executed on the same thread that was called completedFuture. There is also a method thenAcceptBoth. It is very similar to accept, but if thenAcceptit accepts consumer, then thenAcceptBothit takes another CompletableStage+ as input BiConsumer, that is consumer, which takes 2 sources as input, not one. There is also an interesting possibility with the word Either: You Can't Spoil Java with Threads: Part IV - Callable, Future, and Friends - 3These methods accept an alternative CompletableStageand will be executed on the one CompletableStagethat is executed first. And I would like to finish this review with another interesting feature CompletableFuture- error handling.
				 .thenApply((a) -> {
					throw new IllegalStateException("error");
				 }).thenApply((a) -> 3L)
				 //.exceptionally(ex -> 0L)
				 .thenAccept(val -> System.out.println(val));
This code will not do anything, because an exception will be thrown and nothing will happen. But if we uncomment the exceptionally, then we define the behavior. On the subject, CompletableFutureI also advise you to watch the following video: In my humble opinion, these videos are one of the most visual on the Internet. From them it should be clear how it all works, what kind of arsenal we have and why all this is needed. You Can't Spoil Java with Threads: Part IV - Callable, Future, and Friends - 4


I hope it's clear now how you can use streams to get calculations after they've been computed. Additional material: #Viacheslav
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