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SuperMan Bound by Java Monitors

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SuperMan Bound by Java Monitors

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Its a dark time in the life of Super Man. Jor-El wants him to go on a voyage to prepare him for his ultimate destiny. Yet the Earth is faced with dooms-day and the Justice League needs their Man of Steel in action to save the world. But you cant do both at the same time since we have just one SuperMan. Also he cannot fight dooms day without first fulfilling his destiny and realizing his true powers. How do we call upon Superman without making the man go bonkers on what to do. This should be done in an orderly manner where one has to wait until the voyage is done.

We will make use of Java Monitors to help SuperMan listen to his Kryptonian father as well as come back in time to save the world from dooms day. First of all we define the Man of Steel;

/**
 * The awesome kryptonian man is represented by this class
 * 
 * @author Dinuka Arseculeratne
 *
 */
public class SuperMan {

 private boolean onVoyage = false;

 /**
  * Schedule a voyage for Superman. Note that this method first checks whether he is
  * already on a voyage, and if so calls the wait() method to hault the current thread
  * until notify is called and onVoyage is set to false.
  */
 public synchronized void goOnVoyage() {

  if (onVoyage) {
   try {
    System.out.println("SuperMan is already on a voyage. Please wait until he returns from his quest.");
    wait();
    System.out.println("His goyage is over, time for him to go on a new voyage....");
   } catch (InterruptedException e) {
    System.out.println(" I am SuperMan, i do not handle these petty exceptions");
   }

  }
  onVoyage = true;
  notify();

 }

 /**
  * This method calls Superman back from his current voyage. Again the method
  * checks whether Super man is not already on a voyage. If so the current thread is
  * Halted until he is schedule to go on a voyage because he needs to be on a voyage
  * to be called back in the first place.
  */
 public synchronized void returnFromVoyage() {

  if (!onVoyage) {
   try {
    System.out.println("SuperMan is not yet on a voyage. Please Wait.");
    wait();
    System.out.println("Great he has gone on a voyage, time to call him back!!");
   } catch (InterruptedException e) {
    System.out.println(" I am SuperMan, i do not handle these petty exceptions");
   }
  }
  onVoyage = false;
  notify();
 }
}

So we have defined SuperMan. Note that he has two methods defined. One which allows him to go on a voyage and another to call him back from his current voyage. As you can see SuperMan does not handle exceptions because, well.......... He is SuperMan and he is the exception :). You can see that before each call we check the boolean indicating whether he is on a voyage or not and depending on the method called, the wait() of the Object is called in order to halt the current thread that is calling the method until notify() is called by the thread that is currently operating on the object. Note that wait() and notify() should be called inside a synchronized method or block for it to work accurately. Because you first need to acquire a lock in order to halt or notify it.

Getting back to the previous issue, we know that both the Justice League and Jor-El need SuperMan but for different purposes. Lets see how this battle unravels with the following code snippet;

public class Test {

 public static void main(String[] args) {
  SuperMan superMan = new SuperMan();
  
  JusticeLeague justiceLeague = new JusticeLeague(superMan);
  justiceLeague.start();
  
  JorEl jorEl = new JorEl(superMan);
  jorEl.start();
  
 }

 

}

class JusticeLeague extends Thread{
 
 private SuperMan superMan = null;
 
 public JusticeLeague(SuperMan superMan)
 {
  this.superMan = superMan;
 }
 
 @Override
 public void run() {
  superMan.returnFromVoyage();
 }
}

class JorEl extends Thread{
 
 private SuperMan superMan = null;
 public JorEl(SuperMan superMan)
 {
  this.superMan = superMan;
 }
 
 @Override
 public void run() {
  superMan.goOnVoyage();
 }
 
}

  Note that here we have JorEl and the JusticeLeagure operating on two different threads trying to access SuperMan concurrently. As you can see from our main method, the JusticeLeague wants to call back SuperMan in order to save the world. But fortunately he is not yet on a voyage so its illegal to ask him to return. Then comes JorEl asking his son to go on a voyage to fulfill his true destiny. It is only after this voyage that he can return to save planet Earth. If you run this now you can see that the JusticeLeague thread is halted until SuperMan goes on the voyage and notify is called. Just for fun try to comment out the notify() method and you will see the application will hang because now one thread will wait indefinitely until it is notified of the completion of the process.

If not for Java Monitors, SuperMan would have failed since he would have gone to face doomsday without first going on his voyage and fulfilling his destiny. And Java saves the world again.

Note : The story is fictional yet Java Monitors are real


Thank you for reading everyone. And have a great day ahead. If you feel like it, please do leave by a comment. Cheers!!


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Published at DZone with permission of Dinuka Arseculeratne, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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