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Core Java Interview Questions and Answers

Ques 296. What is Dictionary Class in Java?

Ans.

Dictionary is an abstract class that represents a key/value storage repository and operates much like Map.

Given a key and value, you can store the value in a Dictionary object. Once the value is stored, you can retrieve it by using its key. Thus, like a map, a dictionary can be thought of as a list of key/value pairs.

The Dictionary class is obsolete. You should implement the Map interface to obtain key/value storage functionality.

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Ques 297. What is Reference Handler Thread in Java?
Ans.
  1. I suspect it handles running finalizers for the JVM. It's an implementation detail and as such not specified in the JVM spec.
  2. This only means that the java.lang.ref.Reference$Lock was locked in the method mentioned in the line preceding it (i.e in ReferenceHandler.run().
  3. "Native Method" simply means that the method is implemented in native (i.e. non-Java) code (think JNI).
  4. Unknown Source only means that the .class file doesn't contain any source code location information (at least for this specific point). This can happen either when the method is a synthetic one (doesn't look like it here), or the class was compiled without debug information.
  5. When a thread waits on some object, then it must have locked that object at some point down the call trace, so you can't really have a waiting on without a corresponding locked.
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Ques 298. What is Main thread in Java?
Ans.
An instance of java.lang.Thread is not a thread; it can be used to represent a thread of execution in the JVM but the JVM is perfectly capable of creating threads without using the Thread class at all.

This is what happens with the main thread: the JVM creates it, and an instance of java.lang.Thread is created to represent it later.

The startup of the JVM calls the static Threads::create_vm function, which is already running in a thread set up by the operating system. Within that function we find:

(src/share/vm/runtime/thread.cpp)
3191   // Attach the main thread to this os thread
3192   JavaThread* main_thread = new JavaThread();
3193   main_thread->set_thread_state(_thread_in_vm);
3194   // must do this before set_active_handles and initialize_thread_local_storage
3195   // Note: on solaris initialize_thread_local_storage() will (indirectly)
3196   // change the stack size recorded here to one based on the java thread
3197   // stacksize. This adjusted size is what is used to figure the placement
3198   // of the guard pages.
3199   main_thread->record_stack_base_and_size();
3200   main_thread->initialize_thread_local_storage();
The JavaThread class is apparently used for bookkeeping; it associates an OS or VM thread with a Java Thread object. The Java object apparently doesn't exist yet. The code then goes on to initialize various other things, and later on still in the same function we find this:
3335     // Initialize java_lang.System (needed before creating the thread)
3336     if (InitializeJavaLangSystem) {
3337       initialize_class(vmSymbols::java_lang_System(), CHECK_0);
3338       initialize_class(vmSymbols::java_lang_ThreadGroup(), CHECK_0);
3339       Handle thread_group = create_initial_thread_group(CHECK_0);
3340       Universe::set_main_thread_group(thread_group());
3341       initialize_class(vmSymbols::java_lang_Thread(), CHECK_0);
3342       oop thread_object = create_initial_thread(thread_group, main_thread, CHECK_0);
3343       main_thread->set_threadObj(thread_object);
3344       // Set thread status to running since main thread has
3345       // been started and running.
3346       java_lang_Thread::set_thread_status(thread_object,
3347       										java_lang_Thread::RUNNABLE);
In other words, we it initializes the System, ThreadGroup, and Thread classes, then creates an instance of Thread referenced by thread_object (line 3342), and sets the Thread instance for the main JavaThread.

If you wonder what the create_initial_thread does, apparently it allocates the Thread instance, stores a pointer to the JavaThread (C++) object in the private eetop field of the Thread instance, sets the thread priority field to normal, calls the Thread(ThreadGroup group,String name)constructor, and returns the instance:
 967 // Creates the initial Thread
 968 static oop create_initial_thread(Handle thread_group, JavaThread* thread, TRAPS) {
 969   klassOop k = SystemDictionary::resolve_or_fail(vmSymbols::java_lang_Thread(), true, CHECK_     NULL);
 970   instanceKlassHandle klass (THREAD, k);
 971   instanceHandle thread_oop = klass->allocate_instance_handle(CHECK_NULL);
 972 
 973   java_lang_Thread::set_thread(thread_oop(), thread);
 974   java_lang_Thread::set_priority(thread_oop(), NormPriority);
 975   thread->set_threadObj(thread_oop());
 976 
 977   Handle string = java_lang_String::create_from_str("main", CHECK_NULL);
 978 
 979   JavaValue result(T_VOID);
 980   JavaCalls::call_special(&result, thread_oop,
 981                                    klass,
 982                                    vmSymbols::object_initializer_name(),
 983                                    vmSymbols::threadgroup_string_void_signature(),
 984                                    thread_group,
 985                                    string,
 986                                    CHECK_NULL);
 987   return thread_oop();
 988 }
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Ques 299. What is Signal Dispatcher thread in Java?
Ans. Signal Dispatcher is a thread that handles the native signals sent by the OS to your JVM.
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Ques 300. What is multithreading in Java?
Ans.

Java is a multithreaded programming language which means we can develop multithreaded program using Java. A multithreaded program contains two or more parts that can run concurrently and each part can handle different task at the same time making optimal use of the available resources specially when your computer has multiple CPUs.

By definition multitasking is when multiple processes share common processing resources such as a CPU. Multithreading extends the idea of multitasking into applications where you can subdivide specific operations within a single application into individual threads. Each of the threads can run in parallel. The OS divides processing time not only among different applications, but also among each thread within an application.

Multithreading enables you to write in a way where multiple activities can proceed concurrently in the same program.

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