I suppose it depends on the Http client that you choose.
The Jakarta Commons HttpClient has a TimeoutController class that allows you to execute either a Runnable or Thread object with a specified timeout. It throws a TimeoutController.TimeoutException.
What you do to handle such an exception depends entirely on the application requirements. You could retry the task immediately, log the event and exit, rotate the task to the end of the queue, or any other scheme that you choose.
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