Jasper Jasper - 3 months ago 19
Java Question

Java ThreadLocal static?

Setting a value in Thread Local:

//Class A holds the static ThreadLocal variable.

Class A{

public static ThreadLocal<X> myThreadLocal = new ThreadLocal<X>();
....
}


//A Class B method sets value in A's static ThreadLocal variable
class B{
{
public void someBmethod(){
X x = new X();
A.myThreadLocal.set(x);
}
}


//Class C retrieves the value set in A's Thread Local variable.

Class C {

public void someCMethod(){
X x = A.myThreadLocal.get();
}
...
}


Quesiton:

Now assuming this is a web-application, and threads execute: B.someBMethod, C.someCMethod in that order.

Multiple threads executing B's someBMethod, will end up updating the SAME A's static ThreadLocal variable myThreadLocal, thereby beating the very purpose of ThreadLocal variable. (Using static for ThreadLocal is what is recommended as per documentation.)

The C's someCMethod, while retrieving value from ThreadLocal may not get the value set by the 'current' thread.

What am i missing here?

Answer

As per the definition of ThreadLocal class

This class provides thread-local variables. These variables differ from their normal counterparts in that each thread that accesses one (via its get or set method) has its own, independently initialized copy of the variable. ThreadLocal instances are typically private static fields in classes that wish to associate state with a thread (e.g., a user ID or Transaction ID).

That means say 2 threads t1 & t2 executes someBMethod() and they end up setting x1 & x2(Instances of X) respectively. Now when t1 comes and executes someCMethod() it gets x1 (which is set by itself earlier) and t2 gets x2.

In other words, its safe to have a single static instance of ThreadLocal, because internally it does something like this when you invoke set

set(currentThread, value) //setting value against that particular thread

and when you invoke get

get(currentThread) //getting value for the thread
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