Trail: Essential Classes
Lesson: Concurrency
Section: Immutable Objects
A Synchronized Class Example
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A Synchronized Class Example

The class, SynchronizedRGB, defines objects that represent colors. Each object represents the color as three integers that stand for primary color values and a string that gives the name of the color.


public class SynchronizedRGB {

    // Values must be between 0 and 255.
    private int red;
    private int green;
    private int blue;
    private String name;

    private void check(int red,
                       int green,
                       int blue) {
        if (red < 0 || red > 255
            || green < 0 || green > 255
            || blue < 0 || blue > 255) {
            throw new IllegalArgumentException();
        }
    }

    public SynchronizedRGB(int red,
                           int green,
                           int blue,
                           String name) {
        check(red, green, blue);
        this.red = red;
        this.green = green;
        this.blue = blue;
        this.name = name;
    }

    public void set(int red,
                    int green,
                    int blue,
                    String name) {
        check(red, green, blue);
        synchronized (this) {
            this.red = red;
            this.green = green;
            this.blue = blue;
            this.name = name;
        }
    }

    public synchronized int getRGB() {
        return ((red << 16) | (green << 8) | blue);
    }

    public synchronized String getName() {
        return name;
    }

    public synchronized void invert() {
        red = 255 - red;
        green = 255 - green;
        blue = 255 - blue;
        name = "Inverse of " + name;
    }
}

SynchronizedRGB must be used carefully to avoid being seen in an inconsistent state. Suppose, for example, a thread executes the following code:

SynchronizedRGB color =
    new SynchronizedRGB(0, 0, 0, "Pitch Black");
...
int myColorInt = color.getRGB();      //Statement 1
String myColorName = color.getName(); //Statement 2

If another thread invokes color.set after Statement 1 but before Statement 2, the value of myColorInt won't match the value of myColorName. To avoid this outcome, the two statements must be bound together:

synchronized (color) {
    int myColorInt = color.getRGB();
    String myColorName = color.getName();
} 

This kind of inconsistency is only possible for mutable objects — it will not be an issue for the immutable version of SynchronizedRGB.


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