[concurrency-interest] ForkJoinPool for async http calls?

Christian Essl christianessl at googlemail.com
Sun May 6 17:58:23 EDT 2012

Sorry if this is a stupid question regarding fork-join pools, but I am not
sure wheter the "lightweigth future" idea would also work async http calls.
(And please also excuse my bad english)

Currently I use the ning asnyc-http-client (
https://github.com/sonatype/async-http-client) in an event-driven callback
style to do nonblocking http-calls from a servlet.

However the callback style gets a bit complicated when the program-logic
gets complex so I wonder wheter I could use ForkJoinTask to transfer the
callback style to non-thread-blocking futures.

The idea is to initialize the nonblocking HttpCall in ForkJoinTaks.exec()
and when the callback receives the http-response it calls the
ForkJoinTaks.complete() method.

Maybe someone can take a look at the following ForkJoinTask which wraps an
HttpCall and say wheter it is a reasonable use of ForkJoinPool.

import com.ning.http.client.AsyncHttpClient;
import com.ning.http.client.AsyncCompletionHandler;
import com.ning.http.client.Response;

//The forkjoin task which wraps an async-http-call
class HttpTask extends ForkJoinTask<Response> {

private Response result;
private AsyncHttpClient.BoundRequestBuilder httpRequestBuilder;
 public HttpTask(AsyncHttpClient.BoundRequestBuilder builder) {
//the httpRequestBuilder is setup up by the caller (setting the url etc)
        //and used by HttpTask to execute the http request
        this.httpRequestBuilder = builder;
protected boolean exec() {
try {
//this is non blocking event-style http call
httpRequestBuilder.execute(new AsyncCompletionHandler<Response>() {

public Response onCompleted(Response resp) throws Exception {
//when the response is received complete the ForkJoinTask
return resp;
public void onThrowable(Throwable t) {
//wehn exception complete Exceptionally the ForkJoinTask
} catch (IOException e) {
throw new RuntimeException(e);
return false;

public Response getRawResult() {
return result;

protected void setRawResult(Response arg0) {
result = arg0;

I than use the HttpTask in Servelt like that:

public class FooServlet extends javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet {

private ForkJoinPool forJoinPool = new ForkJoinPool();
private AsyncHttpClient httpClient = new AsyncHttpClient();
protected void doGet(final HttpServletRequest req, final
HttpServletResponse resp)
throws ServletException, IOException {
final AsyncContext asyncCtxt = req.getAsyncContext();
RecursiveAction action = new RecursiveAction() {
protected void compute() {
//do the http request
HttpTask t = new HttpTask(httpClient.prepareGet("http//url.to.service/"));
    Response res = t.invoke();

My assumption here is that when the HttpTask is invoked that the
ForkJoinPool does not block the thread until the Response is received but
rather takes another RecursiveAtion to process another request until the
httpresponse arrives.

My question is wheter my assumptions are right and wheter this is a
reasonable use of ForkJoinPool.

Thanks for any responses.
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