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Difference between Callable and Runnable in Java - Interview question

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Javin Paul

Posts: 1090
Nickname: javinpaul
Registered: Jan, 2012

Javin Paul is Java Programmer working on Finance domain.
Difference between Callable and Runnable in Java - Interview question Posted: Jan 11, 2013 6:38 AM
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Difference between Callable and Runnable interface in Java is one of the interesting question from my list of Top 15 Java multi-threading questions, and it’s also very popular in various Java Interviews. Callable interface is newer than Runnable interface and added on Java 5 release along with other major changes e.g. Generics, Enum, Static imports and variable argument method. Though both Callable and Runnable interface are designed to represent task, which can be executed by any thread, there is some significant difference between them. In my opinion, major difference between Callable and Runnable interface is that Callable can return result of operation performed inside call() method, which was one of the limitation with Runnable interface. Another significant difference between Runnable and Callable interface is ability to throw checked exception. Callable interface can throw checked exception because it's call method throws Exception. By the way sometime this question is also asked as follow-up question of another classic difference between Runnable and Thread in Java. Commonly FutureTask is used along with Callable to get result of asynchronous computation task performed in call() method.
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