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SubjectRe: [OT] Threads, inelegance, and Java
On Wednesday 20 June 2001 12:53, Larry McVoy wrote:

> We couldn't believe that Java was really that bad so our GUI guy, Aaron
> Kushner, sat down and rewrote the revision history browser in Java.
> On a 500 node graph, the Java tool was up to 85MB. The tk tool doing
> the same thing was 5MB. Note that we routinely run the tool on files
> with 4000 nodes, we can't even run the Java tool on files that big,
> it crashes.

I can second that.

I recently mentioned an OS/2 abonination called Feature Install. Around 1996
I tried to port Feature Install to java 1.0. I got as far as the response
file reading code, and reading in a 100k file exhausted available memory on
the 32 megabyte machine I was working on.

Remember, every single java object includes a BUNCH of data, including two
semaphores (one event, one mutex) and who knows what else. On OS/2 the
overhead of a java 1.0 object (new Object();) was 2 kilobytes! In later
versions they got that down to around 200k, but it's still just rediculous.
Every single String, every pointless Integer() wrapper, every temporarily
created Stringbuffer() discarded by a + operation left there littering the

Plus I have yet to see a JVM that actually reclaims heap space after a
garbage collect and gives it back to the OS. (You have to be able to
relocate objects to do this at all reliably...)

So if you create a large number of small objects, EVER, (tree, etc,) it's
going to explode the heap and it'll never come down until the program exits.

> So, yeah, we have done what you think we haven't done, and we've tried
> the Java way, we aren't making this stuff up. We run into Java fanatics
> all the time and when we start asking "so what toolkits do you use" we
> get back "well, actually, err, umm, none of them are any good so we write
> our own". That's pathetic.

Also true.

The Graphics class isn't too bad, and lightweight containers are actually
quite nice. But swing is just insanely bad (I have to understand
model/view/controller and select a look-and-feel just to pop up a dialog with
an "ok" button?), and the only serious third party challenger to it was from

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