Friday Nov 11, 2005

Java 6 HotSpot Client Gets Faster

If you grab the latest version of Java 6 you'll notice that there is a new version of the Client compiler! Since Client is the default compiler for all 32bit platforms, this effects all users of Java! What's new with the Client compiler? Well how about this:


If you are running Java 6 builds, upgrade to the latest B59! If you're not running Java 6, give it shot!

Wednesday Nov 09, 2005

How not to fix a bug several times

I've always tried to fix bugs in such a way that I don't have to revisit that particular bug ever again. Instead of just fixing what's wrong, I try to look at what else can go wrong and make sure that those issues are also covered as well. Well sometimes I screw up, and badly at that. Last couple of weeks I've been working on several bug fixes that just had to make it for Java5 update 6, and there wasn't alot of time left. So rather than being thorough I was going for speed and attempting to fix my back log of bugs as rapidly as possible. Well I made a few mistakes which caused other issues. Now this is all factored into the release schedule, and I still have time to make changes into a respin of update 6, but it just doesn't look all the good in front of my peers and manager. Let that be a warning to all you developers, speed is not enough, you have to be thorough as well.

Free Java Developer tools!

How would you like to get world class developer tools for FREE! And not just any old tools, but tools direct from Sun Microsystems! Well you can now get Java Studio Creator and Java Studio Enterprise for free with SDN membership! Check it out

Tuesday Nov 08, 2005

Flickr FS

I usually don't use Flickr to store my images, instead I prefer to use my CalPoly alumni shell account to store any files that I want people to see. But I found this really cool virtual filesystem that allows you to access your Flickr files as a directory on a Linux machine. Its called Flickr FS and it acts like a normal filesystem. The nicest thing is that to search for a file, you create a directory with the tags you want to search for. Example:

# pwd /tmp/flickrfs/tags/public
# mkdir linux:ubuntu

Now FlickFS will search in the background (multi-threaded W00T!), and you can access the directory as the search results are updated. Way neat, and if you are a heavy Flickr user, check it out.

Saturday Nov 05, 2005

SubSpace Continuum

Back in College (around 1997) I use to play this game by Virgin Interactive called Subspace. It's an overhead multiplayer space game the allows you to run around shooting up other people around the world. The point of the game is to pick up powerups that give you better guns, bombs, faster energy recharge, etc and use your ship to take down others that are trying to do the same. It was dropped by Virgin probably because they didn't see anyone willing to pay for such a simple game. The game while simple to learn, is quite challenging to play against other people. So surprisingly the source was acquired by someone and the servers and a new client are available to play again! The game is now called Subspace Continuum and let me tell you, its a blast! The system requirements are inline for a computer from 1996, so its not hard to find a computer that can play it. While its not the latest in graphics, and sound it is one of the few free multiplayer games that you can play for a few minutes and not worry about missing out on quests or events.

Thursday Nov 03, 2005

Eid Mubarak

Today is Eid ul-Fitr which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the month where Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, and refrain from other worldly pleasures. Today Muslims traditionally put on their best clothes and head to Eid Prayers. After which families get together for big meals and celebrations. So Eid Mubarak everyone!

Wednesday Nov 02, 2005

SGI Delisted :(

SGI has been delisted from the NYSE and is now a penny stock! Very unfortunte since I use to work at SGI back in 1996 as a system builder. My dad worked there for nearly 12 years, so SGI has a very dear place in our hearts.

Monday Oct 31, 2005

Fix for the Eclipse bug

The Eclipse bug mentioned on October 24th has been fixed and should make its way into Sun's Java SQA group (excellent people btw). Right now for those of you with this issue, should grab B59 of Mustang which will be available later this week. The fix will also be putback to Java5 update 6, which will be available sometime this year.

What was this bug that caused me nearly six months of debugging pain? Well first off all I would not have been able to find this issue if it hadn't been for Steve G, but the issue was actually quite simple. AMD64 has REX bits that optionally precede an instructions first opcode. These REX bits specify the following:

  • New General Purpose Registers, and XMM Registers
  • 64bit operand size
  • Additional control registers
  • And potentially additional debug registers (none are defined currently)
The problem was that an encoding for an instruction (NEGL) was setting the REX bits incorrectly. This was a subtle bug, that was causing problems with instructions further down the stream than the NEGL. But its fixed now :)

Friday Oct 28, 2005

Advertising Digest

When did Reader's Digest have more advertising then content? It seems every month the amount of advertising, especially medicine increases while the content gets sparse and quite boring actually.

Monday Oct 24, 2005

Eclipse crashing

There seems to be a very hot bug that is affecting many people running Eclipse on Linux/AMD64 machines. While I'm working on this bug, there is a better workaround then just reverting to the interpreter. Create the following file in your Eclipse directory:

.hotspot_compiler

With the contents of:

exclude org/eclipse/jdt/internal/compiler/parser/Scanner optimizedCurrentTokenSource3
exclude org/eclipse/jdt/internal/core/util/CommentRecorderScanner recordComment

Since its a dot file, it'll be hidden from ls, etc so remember to remove it when I do get this fixed :) Performance should be much better than the interpreter.

Wednesday Oct 19, 2005

I'm back!

I'm back! After being away for nearly six months, I've decided to get back into the blogging world! You may have known my previous blog as C2VMGuy, but I like my new JavaWithJiva much better! This time I've decided that I will start off slow and do at least one new blog posting every week and go from there.

Some good news, first off I'm going to be working extensively with the java.sun.com people on getting some VM content on there. Things will be very busy, but in a good way. Secondly I'm going to be posting regular info on Compiler optimizations, stuff going on in the Java organization and much more. Stay tuned for lots more!

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