Java Timer Tutorial

The propose of this tutorial and example is to learn the Java timer basic knowledge and usage.

The Timer Class introduction

The Timer class provides a mechanism to generate timed events. It has properties and events, and thus can be used in application builders that understand JavaBeans. It fires an ActionEvent at a given time. The timer can be set to repeat, and an optional initial delay can be set before the repeating event starts.

Java timer Properties

The Timer class properties give you access to the timer delays and nature of the event firing loops. They are listed in Table The delay property dictates the length between repeated timer events (if repeats is true) and initialDelay determines how long to wait before starting the regular, repeating events. Both properties expect values in milliseconds. If your timer is not repeating, then the value of initialDelay determines when the timer fires its event. You can check to see if the timer is running with the running property. The coalesce property dictates whether or not the timer combines pending events into one single event (to help listeners keep up). For example, if the timer fires a tick every 10 milliseconds, but the application is busy and has not handled events for 100 milliseconds, 10 action events are queued up for delivery. If coalesce is false, all 10 of these are delivered in rapid succession. If coalesce is true (the default), only one event is fired. The logTimers property can be turned on to generate simple debugging information to the standard output stream each time an event is processed.

Timer properties Property

actionListeners 1.4

Java Timer Events tutorial

A Timer generates an ActionEvent whenever it “goes off.” You can listen for ActionEvents if you want to react to a timer tick.

public void addActionListener(ActionListener l)
public void removeActionListener(ActionListener l)

Add or remove listeners interested in receiving action events from the timer.

public EventListener[] getListeners(Class listenerType)

Retrieve all listeners of type listenerType. Used by getActionListeners() to return, well, action listeners.

The Timer class also contains its own fireActionPerformed( ) method to facilitate reporting events to listeners.

protected void fireActionPerformed(ActionEvent e)

Send ActionEvent objects to any registered listeners.

Java class Timer Constructor

public Timer(int delay, ActionListener listener)

Create a Timer object that notifies its listener every delay milliseconds. The listener argument can be null. The timer is not started right away; you must manually call the start() method.

java class Timer Control Methods
You also have a few methods to control the timer at runtime:

public void start()

Start the timer. The first event comes after initialDelay milliseconds, and if it’s a repeating timer, every delay milliseconds after that.

public void restart()

Restart the timer. This method calls stop() and then start().

public void stop()

Stop the timer. Any timer events not yet fired are deleted.

At finally we have supported some source code for Java timer tutorial or Java timer example. you can try to something fitting yourself.
// Java timer tutorial example source code
// An extension of the JLabel class that listens to events from a Timer object to
// update itself with the current date & time.
import java.util.Date;
import java.awt.event.*;
import javax.swing.*;

public class ClockLabel extends JLabel implements ActionListener {
  public ClockLabel( ) {
    super("" + new Date( ));
    Timer t = new Timer(1000, this);
    t.start( );
  public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ae) {
    setText((new Date( )).toString( ));

And here’s the application that displays the ClockLabel object:
// Java timer tutorial example source code
// A demonstration framework for the Timer driven ClockLabel class

import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;

public class ClockTest extends JFrame {
  public ClockTest( ) {
    super("Timer Demo");
    setSize(300, 100);
    ClockLabel clock = new ClockLabel( );
    getContentPane( ).add(clock, BorderLayout.NORTH);

  public static void main(String args[]) {
    ClockTest ct = new ClockTest( );

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