December 10, 2009

Java async communication tools tips and tricks… well only 2

Filed under: education, java — michaelangela @ 1:34 pm

Java async communication is no simple matter and these posts highlight the issues as well as provide some solutions. The NIO tutorial is close to what I want but the callback API may bring in the simplicity I desire. I’ve been dusting off the Java portion of my memory and digging in a bit.

Rox Java NIO Tutorial

This tutorial is intended to collect together my own experiences using the Java NIO libraries and the dozens of hints, tips, suggestions and caveats that litter the Internet. When I wrote Rox all of the useful information existed as just that: hints, tips, suggestions and caveats on a handful of forums. This tutorial actually only covers using NIO for asynchronous networking (non-blocking sockets), and not the NIO libraries in all their glory. When I use the term NIO in this tutorial I’m taking liberties and only talking about the non-blocking IO part of the API.

tech: Java : A callback API for epoll(), building on top of Java NIO

I just finished the first draft of the Java callback API that allows you to do asynchronous socket communication using the scalable epoll() mechanism of Linux. This is built on top of Java NIO, so it will take advantage of the best underlying network mechanism the OS has to offer. In Linux 2.6 + /FreeBSD this will likely be epoll().


The Java NIO api can certainly be used for this purpose. But using that API is somewhat difficult and there are various caveats you have to guard against. You need to understand the Selector class, SelectionKey class, InterestOps class, SocketChannel class and their interplay. You need to know the logic for canceling SelectionKeys and setting InterestOps appropriately. And you need to understand the cryptic ByteBuffer class and its variants, possibly how the ByteArrayOutputStream works as well. You need to figure out how to use these classes to store the data separately for each connection, keeping in mind that the data will likely arrive mixed. You also should not call select if all sockets have been completely read, or select() will block – which means you will have to keep track of pending hosts.

1 Comment »

  1. […] recently wrote about some Java libraries/code that would simplify asynch socket communication. I hadn’t […]

    Pingback by Simpler Java asynch IO « Ramblings — December 14, 2009 @ 3:57 am

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