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Java's implementation of threading, in fact, complicates matters by using a misleading metaphor for threads. You have to create
a thread by deriving from
Thread, which leads many a novice Java programmer to the erroneous belief that all the methods of the
Thread derivative will run on that thread. In fact, a method of a
Thread derivative is just like any other method: it runs on a thread only if called directly or indirectly from that thread's
run() method. Objects do not run on threads; methods do.
It's sometimes difficult to predict any control flow in an object-oriented system. In a procedural system, one procedure just calls another, beginning at a single starting point. If there are many threads, there are many paths through the code, but each path starts at a known place, and the control flow through a given thread is predictable (though sometimes not easily so). Object-oriented systems are another matter. Object-oriented systems tend to be networks of cooperating objects, communicating with one another via some message-passing system. The system's "main" method may well do nothing but create a bunch of objects, hook them up to each other, and then terminate. Flow of control is very difficult to predict in this system.
As I mentioned earlier, an object-oriented designer looks at the world in terms of objects and messages. Objects pass messages
to each other, and the receipt of some message causes an appropriate message-handler -- a Java method -- to be executed. Most
of these messages are synchronous: their handlers don't return until they're finished doing what they do. Other messages are asynchronous: the handler returns immediately, before the requested operation completes. Meanwhile, work is going on in the background
to satisfy the original request. A good example of an asynchronous message in Java is
Toolkit.getImage(), which initiates the process of fetching an image and then returns immediately, long before the actual image arrives.