Simplest and understandable example of volatile keyword in Java

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I'm reading about volatile keyword in Java and completely understand the theory part of it.

But, what I'm searching for is, a good case example, which shows what would happen if variable wasn't volatile and if it were.

Below code snippet doesn't work as expected (taken from here):

class Test extends Thread {

    boolean keepRunning = true;

    public void run() {
        while (keepRunning) {
        }

        System.out.println("Thread terminated.");
    }

    public static void main(String[] args) throws InterruptedException {
        Test t = new Test();
        t.start();
        Thread.sleep(1000);
        t.keepRunning = false;
        System.out.println("keepRunning set to false.");
    }
}

Ideally, if keepRunning wasn't volatile, thread should keep on running indefinitely. But, it does stop after few seconds.

I've got two basic questions:

  • Can anyone explain volatile with example? Not with theory from JLS.
  • Is volatile substitute for synchronization? Does it achieve atomicity?

 

Apr 19 in Java by Rahul
• 3,380 points
61 views

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