Serving multiple clients

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//: MultiJabberServer.java
// A server that uses multithreading to handle 
// any number of clients.
import java.io.*;
import java.net.*;
 
class ServeOneJabber extends Thread {
  private Socket socket;
  private BufferedReader in;
  private PrintWriter out;
  public ServeOneJabber(Socket s) 
      throws IOException {
    socket = s;
    in = 
      new BufferedReader(
        new InputStreamReader(
          socket.getInputStream()));
    // Enable auto-flush:
    out = 
      new PrintWriter(
        new BufferedWriter(
          new OutputStreamWriter(
            socket.getOutputStream())), true);
    // If any of the above calls throw an 
    // exception, the caller is responsible for
    // closing the socket. Otherwise the thread
    // will close it.
    start(); // Calls run()
  }
  public void run() {
    try {
      while (true) {  
        String str = in.readLine();
        if (str.equals("END")) break;
        System.out.println("Echoing: " + str);
        out.println(str);
      }
      System.out.println("closing...");
    } catch (IOException e) {
    } finally {
      try {
        socket.close();
      } catch(IOException e) {}
    }
  }
}
 
public class MultiJabberServer {  
  static final int PORT = 8080;
  public static void main(String[] args)
      throws IOException {
    ServerSocket s = new ServerSocket(PORT);
    System.out.println("Server Started");
    try {
      while(true) {
        // Blocks until a connection occurs:
        Socket socket = s.accept();
        try {
          new ServeOneJabber(socket);
        } catch(IOException e) {
          // If it fails, close the socket,
          // otherwise the thread will close it:
          socket.close();
        }
      }
    } finally {
      s.close();
    }
  } 
} ///:~ 

The ServeOneJabber thread takes the Socket object that’s produced by accept( ) in main( ) every time a new client makes a connection. Then, as before, it creates a BufferedReader and auto-flushed PrintWriter object using the Socket. Finally, it calls the special Thread method start( ), which performs thread initialization and then calls run( ). This performs the same kind of action as in the previous example: reading something from the socket and then echoing it back until it reads the special “END” signal.

The responsibility for cleaning up the socket must again be carefully designed. In this case, the socket is created outside of the ServeOneJabber so the responsibility can be shared. If the ServeOneJabber constructor fails, it will just throw the exception to the caller, who will then clean up the thread. But if the constructor succeeds, then the ServeOneJabber object takes over responsibility for cleaning up the thread, in its run( ).

Notice the simplicity of the MultiJabberServer. As before, a ServerSocket is created and accept( ) is called to allow a new connection. But this time, the return value of accept( ) (a Socket) is passed to the constructor for ServeOneJabber, which creates a new thread to handle that connection. When the connection is terminated, the thread simply goes away.

If the creation of the ServerSocket fails, the exception is again thrown through main( ). But if it succeeds, the outer try-finally guarantees its cleanup. The inner try-catch guards only against the failure of the ServeOneJabber constructor; if the constructor succeeds, then the ServeOneJabber thread will close the associated socket.

To test that the server really does handle multiple clients, the following program creates many clients (using threads) that connect to the same server. Each thread has a limited lifetime, and when it goes away, that leaves space for the creation of a new thread. The maximum number of threads allowed is determined by the final int maxthreads . You’ll notice that this value is rather critical, since if you make it too high the threads seem to run out of resources and the program mysteriously fails.

//: MultiJabberClient.java
// Client that tests the MultiJabberServer
// by starting up multiple clients.
import java.net.*;
import java.io.*;
 
class JabberClientThread extends Thread {
  private Socket socket;
  private BufferedReader in;
  private PrintWriter out;
  private static int counter = 0;
  private int id = counter++;
  private static int threadcount = 0;
  public static int threadCount() { 
    return threadcount; 
  }
  public JabberClientThread(InetAddress addr) {
    System.out.println("Making client " + id);
    threadcount++;
    try {
      socket = 
        new Socket(addr, MultiJabberServer.PORT);
    } catch(IOException e) {
      // If the creation of the socket fails, 
      // nothing needs to be cleaned up.
    }
    try {    
      in = 
        new BufferedReader(
          new InputStreamReader(
            socket.getInputStream()));
      // Enable auto-flush:
      out = 
        new PrintWriter(
          new BufferedWriter(
            new OutputStreamWriter(
              socket.getOutputStream())), true);
      start();
    } catch(IOException e) {
      // The socket should be closed on any 
      // failures other than the socket 
      // constructor:
      try {
        socket.close();
      } catch(IOException e2) {}
    }
    // Otherwise the socket will be closed by
    // the run() method of the thread.
  }
  public void run() {
    try {
      for(int i = 0; i < 25; i++) {
        out.println("Client " + id + ": " + i);
        String str = in.readLine();
        System.out.println(str);
      }
      out.println("END");
    } catch(IOException e) {
    } finally {
      // Always close it:
      try {
        socket.close();
      } catch(IOException e) {}
      threadcount--; // Ending this thread
    }
  }
}
 
public class MultiJabberClient {
  static final int MAX_THREADS = 40;
  public static void main(String[] args) 
      throws IOException, InterruptedException {
    InetAddress addr = 
      InetAddress.getByName(null);
    while(true) {
      if(JabberClientThread.threadCount() 
         < MAX_THREADS)
        new JabberClientThread(addr);
      Thread.currentThread().sleep(100);
    }
  }
} ///:~ 

The JabberClientThread constructor takes an InetAddress and uses it to open a Socket. You’re probably starting to see the pattern: the Socket is always used to create some kind of Reader and/or Writer (or InputStream and/or OutputStream) object, which is the only way that the Socket can be used. (You can, of course, write a class or two to automate this process instead of doing all the typing if it becomes painful.) Again, start( ) performs thread initialization and calls run( ). Here, messages are sent to the server and information from the server is echoed to the screen. However, the thread has a limited lifetime and eventually completes. Note that the socket is cleaned up if the constructor fails after the socket is created but before the constructor completes. Otherwise the responsibility for calling close( ) for the socket is relegated to the run( ) method.

The threadcount keeps track of how many JabberClientThread objects currently exist. It is incremented as part of the constructor and decremented as run( ) exits (which means the thread is terminating). In MultiJabberClient.main( ), you can see that the number of threads is tested, and if there are too many, no more are created. Then the method sleeps. This way, some threads will eventually terminate and more can be created. You can experiment with MAX_THREADS to see where your particular system begins to have trouble with too many connections.



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