February 22, 2011

Story of a Java Program from start to end

When JVM executes a Java application, a runtime instance of JVM is born.This runtime instance invoke main() method of Java application.The main() method of an application serves as the starting point for that application's initial thread. The initial thread can in turn fire off other threads.

This thread has a program counter(PC) and Java stack.Whenever main() method is invoked, a stack frame is pushed onto the stack,this then becomes the active tack frame.The program counter in the new Java stack frame will point to the beginning of the method.

If there are more method invocations within main() method then this process of pushing new stack frame onto the stack for each method call is repeated as and when they are invoked.When a method returns, the active frame is popped from the stack and the one below becomes the active stack frame.The PC is set to the instruction after the method call and the method continues.

There is only one heap corresponding to an instance of JVM and all objects created are stored here.This heap is shared by all threads created in an application.

Inside the Java virtual machine, threads come in two flavors: daemon and non- daemon. A daemon thread is ordinarily a thread used by the virtual machine itself, such as a thread that performs garbage collection. The application, however, can mark any threads it creates as daemon threads. The initial thread of an application--the one that begins at main()--is a non- daemon thread.

A Java application continues to execute (the virtual machine instance continues to live) as long as any non-daemon threads are still running. When all non-daemon threads of a Java application terminate, the virtual machine instance will exit. If permitted by the security manager, the application can also cause its own demise by invoking the exit() method of class Runtime or System.

When main() returns,it terminates the application's only non-daemon thread, which causes the virtual machine instance to exit.

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