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How do I stop a thread that waits for long periods (e.g., for input)?

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Question: How do I stop a thread that waits for long periods (e.g., for input)?

Answer: That's what the Thread.interrupt method is for. The same "state based" signaling mechanism shown above can be used, but the state change (blinker = null, in the previous example) can be followed by a call to Thread.interrupt, to interrupt the wait:

public void stop() {
Thread moribund = waiter;
waiter = null;

For this technique to work, it's critical that any method that catches an interrupt exception and is not prepared to deal with it immediately reasserts the exception. We say reasserts rather than rethrows, because it is not always possible to rethrow the exception. If the method that catches the InterruptedException is not declared to throw this (checked) exception, then it should "reinterrupt itself" with the following incantation:

This ensures that the Thread will reraise the InterruptedException as soon as it is able.

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