Thread problems - shutting down.

10-11  Source: Network gathering  Views:0 

Okay, I've got my multi-threaded server program working just fine and all is well...until I shut down the server.
By some quirky twist of fate, java chat servers seem to be a popular education assignment in the last two weeks, which will probably put some people off answering this simply because of all the clueless posts on the subject recently. :)
Anyway, a little background on how I'm doing things first.
At the top there is the Server object, which is implementing Runnable. This instances the ClientManager, creates the ServerSocket and then kicks off its own thread and loops in the run() method waiting for connections while a boolean is true. If it gets a connection it calls the ClientManager addConnection() method and passes it the received client socket.
The ClientManager holds a List of ClientConnections and provides methods to add and remove ClientConnections. The ClientManager also runs in its own thread by implementing the Runnable interface and uses its run() method to loop through checking for incoming messages from each client.
A ClientConnection object also runs in its own thread via the Runnable interface. This checks for incoming messages from the client and stores the String ready to be received by the ClientManager and broadcast to all ClientConnections.
So, you've got the Server running in its own thread, the ClientManager running in its own thread and the ClientManager maintaining a List of ClientConnections, each running in its own thread.
I'm starting my threads like this:-
// Constructor.
Public SomeObject() {
// Runnable method.
Public void start() {
    // threadObject is private class variable.
    bThreadActive = true;
    this.threadObject = new Thread(this);
}I'm running my threadded object like this: -
Public void run() {
    do {
        // Do work here.
    } while(bThreadActive);
    // Activates the shutdown method for this object.
}I'm shutting down my threads like this: -
Public void shutdown() {
    this.bThreadActive = false;
// The main shutdown code.
Public void shutdownObject() {
    // Kill thread object.
    this.threadObject = null;
    // Do other stuff.
}Which I think should work fine. Anything wrong with the above?
I'm getting problems with NullPointerExceptions with the Server object at the point where it tries to shutdown the ClientManager. This works by shutting down all ClientConnections in the List first and then emptying the List before killing its own thread. Also, the Server object seems to shutdown before the ClientManager. And other such weirdness.
I know you're all going to ask for specific code and a stacktrace, which I'll provide....I just want to check that my method for using threads as above is correct first, so I can rule that out - mostly because I suspect I'm missing some vital piece of knowledge on using threads....things are not working as I expect.
Anyway, a quick answer on the above and then I'll start posting more specific info.
Thanks all :) mistake. I was calling shutdown() twice. Once from the GUI code and automatically from after the loop in the run() method. Funny how the stacktrace doesn't drill down any further than the method that makes this call.
Okay, its almost all working perfectly, except for this part....
    //  Start accepting client connections from the server service.
    public void run() {
         while(bThreadActive) {
             if (sockServer != null) {
                 if (!sockServer.isClosed()) {
                     try {
                         sockClient = sockServer.accept();
                         if (sockClient != null) {
                             this.pOutput.printOutput("Connection accepted from: " + sockClient.getInetAddress().getHostAddress());
                     } catch (IOException ioe) {
                         if (bThreadActive) {
                             this.pOutput.printOutput("ERROR: Could not accept incoming client connection");
                     } catch (NullPointerException npe) {
                         // Leave this for now.
    // Shutdown the server service and disconnect all client connections.
    public void shutdown() {
        try {
            threadServer = null;
        } catch (NullPointerException npe) {
        } catch (IOException ioe) {
            pOutput.printOutput("ERROR: Could not cleanly shutdown the server socket");
        pOutput.printOutput("Server service shut down successfully");
    // Stop the server thread (automatically shuts down).
    public synchronized void stopThread() {
        bThreadActive = false;
    }When I call the above like this from the GUI object...
    // Stop the server.
    private void stopServer() {
         try {
         } catch (NullPointerException npe) {
    }...the string "Server service shut down successfully" from the completion of the shutdown() method never appears, so it looks as though its not executing.
But if I do this instead in the stopServer() method and remove the shutdown() call in the run() method, it works......but I get two (sometimes three) outputs of "Server service shut down successfully" which makes me think its being run twice somehow.....once before the ClientManager has been shutdown and once after or twice after.
Server service shut down successfully
Shutting down Client Manager...
All client connections disconnected
Client Manager successfully shutdown
Server service shut down successfully
Server service shut down successfully
Any ideas?
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