Dart futures are NOT run in a separate thread (they are run in the event loop)

I’ve been working with Flutter and Dart for several weeks now, and I was surprised to read several times that Dart is single-threaded, knowing that it has a concept of a Future (or futures) and async methods. Last night I read this excellent article about Dart’s event loop, which sums up Dart futures very nicely in that statement:

“the code of these Futures will be run as soon as the Event Loop has some time. This will give the user the feeling that things are being processed in parallel (while we now know it is not the case).”

Earlier in the article the author also states:

“An async method is NOT executed in parallel but following the regular sequence of events, handled by the Event Loop, too.”

So, in summary, Dart has a single-threaded event loop, and futures and async methods aren’t handled by a separate thread; they’re handled by the single-threaded event loop whenever it has nothing else to do.

I just wanted to note this here for myself today, but for many more details, please see that article, which also discusses Dart isolates, which are like a more primitive form of Akka actors.

Java: How to get the name of the current thread

When you’re working with multi-threaded programming in Java — such as when working with Thread, Runnable, SwingUtilities.invokeLater, Akka, futures, or Observable in RxJava — you may need to get the name of the current thread as a way to debug your code. Here’s how you get the name of the current thread in Java:

Android: How to send a message from a Thread to a Handler

As a quick example of how to use a Thread with a basic Handler in an Android application, the following code creates a view where the text in the TextView is updated to show the current date and time when the Button is tapped.

Java source code

First, here’s the Java source code for a file class named ThreadHandlerActivity:

The Java 8 lambda Thread and Runnable syntax and examples

As a quick note, here are some examples of the Java 8 lambda Thread and Runnable syntax. As a little bonus I also show the Java lambda syntax in other situations, such as with an ActionListener, and several “handler” examples, including when a lambda has multiple parameters.

Android Room, database I/O, and Java 8 threads

I just started working with the Android Room database persistence library, and since you’re not supposed to run things like database queries on the main thread (the UI thread), I was looking at other ways to run them.

In general, you probably won’t want to run database queries using a Thread, but just to see how Room works, I wrote this Java Thread code, and confirmed that it works as expected:

An example of Android StrictMode output (with improper database access)

I was just working with an example of how to use Android’s new Room Persistence Library, and the example I was working with ran some of its code on the main Android thread, also known as its “UI thread.” I knew this was bad, but I wanted to start with someone’s example, and then figure out a good way to get the Room method calls to run on a background thread, such as using an AsyncTask. (The Android docs don’t specify a “best practice” for this atm.)