Cracking Core Java Interviews 3rd Edition

A Comprehensive Guide to Crack Core Java Interviews in Investment Banks, HealthCare IT & Startups. It covers Core Java, Algorithms, Data Structures, Concurrency, Hibernate and Spring MVC.

Specifically for investment banking domain, healthcare IT and product companies i.e. UBS, RBS, Blackrock, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Nomura, Barclays, Citibank, Markit, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and other companies i.e. Global Logic, Adobe, hCentive, Edifecs, Expedia, Infosys, TCS, Sapient, Wipro, HCL etc.
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3rd Edition
Last Updated : Tuesday, December 29, 2015 9:30:59 AM IST Total Page Hits 630

What is difference between Callable and Runnable Interface?

As per Java documentation

“Callable interface is similar to Runnable, in that both are designed for classes whose instances are potentially executed by another thread. A Runnable, however, does not return a result and cannot throw a checked exception.”

So basically there are two main differences between the two -

  1. A Runnable does not return a result
  2. A Runnable can’t throw checked Exception

Both of these interfaces can be used with Executors framework introduced in Java 5.

public interface Callable { 
 V call() throws Exception; 

In order to convert Runnable to Callable use the following utility method provided by Executors class

Callable callable = Executors.callable(Runnable task); 

Callable, however must be executed using a ExecutorService instead of Thread as shown below.

result = exec.submit(aCallable).get(); 

Submitting a callable to ExecutorService returns Future Object which represents the lifecycle of a task and provides methods to check if the task has been completed or cancelled, retrieve the results and cancel the task.

Here is the source for Future Interface

public interface Future { 
  boolean cancel(boolean mayInterruptIfRunning); 
  boolean isCancelled(); 
  boolean isDone(); 
  V get() throws InterruptedException, ExecutionException; 
  V get(long timeout, TimeUnit unit) 
  throws InterruptedException, ExecutionException, TimeoutException;

What is need for both the Interfaces (callable & Runnable)?

In my opinion - In theory, the Java team could have changed the signature of the method, but this would have broken binary compatibility with pre 1.5 Java code, requiring re-coding when migrating old Java code to newer JVMs. That is a BIG NO-NO. Java strives to be backwards compatible … and that’s been one of Java’s biggest selling points for business computing.

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