TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sep 97 Factory Floor

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: From The Factory Floor

A CodeWarrior Java Update

by Dave Mark, ©1997 by Metrowerks, Inc., all rights reserved.

Tim Freehill is the Engineering Manager for the Java Tools team, with technical responsibilities for the compiler, linker and preference panel plugins. He also concentrates on developing his pointy hair style.

Greg Bolsinga writes Class Wrangler, worked on porting the 1.1.1 javac compiler, and enjoys relieving the TX heat at the local swimming holes while not coding. He is a Scorpio, and his favorite color is purple.

Clinton Popetz just can't keep his hands out of the Java pot, and has the burns to prove it. When not engaged in mind-meld with his Mac, he is a typical slap-happy father of two, and a practioner of Kuk Sool Won, a martial art in which he serves as a chew toy for evil black belts.

Scott Kovatch is a software engineer who lives in Round Rock, Texas with his wife Sandy, and their two cats Star and Shadow. He has been working on Macintosh applications for five years, and is currently working on the native implementations for the Metrowerks 1.1 Java virtual machine and Metrowerks Java.

Kevin Buettner is the JIT compiler lead. He concentrates on the overall JIT architecture, performance enhancements, and the PowerPC code generator.

Laurent Visconti is a "virtual" Metrowerks engineer living in Boston. He spans the bridge between the Java and compiler groups at Metrowerks while working on the Java bytecode compiler and the Java to native compiler.

It's hard to believe, but it was just last year that Java first made its appearance on the Mac. Since then, lots has changed. This month's interview is with the Metrowerks Java team. Read on to learn what's coming down the pike in CodeWarrior Java...

Dave: What Java related technologies is Metrowerks working on these days?

Tim: CodeWarrior Java has seen a lot of extra attention recently, and we've really put a lot of work into streamlining the tools and expanding the Java support within CodeWarrior. We are making CodeWarrior work better as a Java development environment, and we're adding new functionality in several areas.

For example, we are working on our ability to compile Java source directly into machine code, leveraging our existing compiler backend technologies to produce quality Java to native code for a variety of platforms. We'll also have a new backend which uses our optimization technology to produce highly optimized bytecodes. Our ClassWrangler tool is growing by leaps and bounds, giving developers a more sophisticated mechanism for exploring their class libraries. Constructor for Java will be growing into a full Rapid Application Development tool for Java and will be fully integrated into the IDE. Lastly, our VM has received perhaps the most attention, giving us current JDK compatibility and undergoing many, many optimizations for speed, both in the core VM and in the JIT.

Dave: What's the story with the CodeWarrior Java to Native compiler? Will it be compatible with the various CW Back-ends?

Laurent: The Java front-end will generate the standard CodeWarrior IR (Intermediate Representation) that is used by all the CW back-ends. Therefore the Java compiler will be able to invoke any existing or future CW back-end. Because of this architecture developers will be able to generate native binaries with no need for a JIT or an interpreter. This architecture also enables the various optimizations performed both at the IR level and in the back-ends. This will allow the generation of binary code from Java sources equivalent in quality to code generated from C/C++ sources.

Dave: And the new Java back-end?

Laurent: We will implement a new Java back-end that will translate IR to Javabytecode. Because of the optimizations performed on the IR, this new back-end will allow developers to generate better optimized bytecodes.

Tim: This is the same optimization technology CodeWarrior uses in some of its other compilers, so it's proven. It will make even the interpreted bytecodes run more quickly, even without a JIT; with a JIT in place, the code runs that much faster. Also, size optimization can make applet class files download more quickly.

Dave: What's new with Class Wrangler?

Greg: First, Class Wrangler is a program that will allow Mac users to create zipfiles and examine zip files, with an emphasis on zip archive files for Java. You can view all the classes in your archive, and add and remove classes from the archive. As Java programmers already know, it's really easy to get class files with file names longer than the Mac's limit of 31 characters.

When you drop a class file onto Class Wrangler, it will examine the actual class data to determine what the class really should be called in the zip archive. Class files keep lots of data about themselves in their object code. In the Information window, you can see all the methods, all the data members, the super class, all the interfaces, the source file, and the package of a class. You can copy the java code or the java signature to the clipboard, which really comes in handy for native method calls, both Java->native and native->Java.

Class Wrangler is also ready for JDK 1.1's JAR files. It will read and write compressed JAR files. We will be expanding ClassWrangler's JAR capability to handle java digital signatures and other security features. Soon we'll also add the ability to put any type of file within the zip file's hierarchy. This way users can create an images directory for their gifs for JDK 1.1, all within a single JAR file. Class Wrangler is a simple utility for Mac Java programmers, but it's handy for all Java programmers. It will be on Windows soon.

Dave: What class libraries will CodeWarrior support?

Tim: Java frameworks are moving towards the component model, which is great for RAD. By using a defined component API, such as Java Beans, we will be able to support a variety of frameworks. The tool need only know the component API. It can query the component, and the user can put them together in a meaningful fashion. This allows our users to choose what framework they want to use, and lets us remain agnostic about whose framework we support.

Dave: Constructor for Java has been final or some time now. Can you tell me about the next generation RAD tools as they relate to Java?

Clint: The preferred mechanism for RAD in Java is quickly becoming Java Beans. Beans provides a simple metadata infrastructure for component software, and this makes it very attractive to RAD tool designers. In the past, developers created their own proprietary scheme for managing processes such as reanimation, event hookup, component introspection, description, and packaging. Beans provides a common API for these pieces, and provides it in a framework independent fashion. Currently, the Java framework landscape is diverse and confusing. But by building our Java RAD plans on Beans, our work can go forward as the framework wars are waged, without fear of obsoletion.

Dave: What VMs will CodeWarrior support? Apple MRJ? Sun JDK VM for Mac? Microsoft VM?

Scott: Well, there are a couple of levels of 'support'. The first is bytecode support -- our Java compiler generates bytecode that will work with any Java VM, whether it's on Windows, Mac, Unix, or any other platform. Then there is run support, which means "What can CodeWarrior tell to run your Java code?" This one's pretty broad as well -- just about any Java-enabled browser, Metrowerks Java, or Sun's applet viewer can be used to run your Java code directly from CodeWarrior.

Finally, there is debugging support, which means "VM's that our debugger can talk to". Our long term plan is for our debugger to support any VM that implements Sun's debug API, and right now, that means the Metrowerks VM and Apple's MRJ. Obviously, the more VMs we support, the more solid your VM testing can be.We understand how important that is. Bottom line, we need to be VM-neutral, but we do play better with some VM's than others.

Dave: Can you talk about the direction of the CW VM?

Scott: I guess the best way to describe the VM's direction is that we don't intend the Metrowerks VM to be the reference standard for Java on the MacOS -- it's up to Apple to do that as it moves Java into the OS. But until that day happens, we'll do everything we can to provide developers with the best tools for Java development. That means making sure that our VM keeps up with enhancements defined by Sun, and providing the additional tools that come along with those VM enhancements. To that end, we've updated the VM, compiler, and Metrowerks Java to version 1.1.x, which should have shipped in final form by the time you read this. (Sun seems to put out .x versions every other week, so who knows where we'll be when this article prints!)

In addition to the 1.1 features you would expect, the 1.1 VM will support a number of APIs that can be used to embed the VM into a developer's application. Apple's JManager API is supported, as well as Sun's JNI and Microsoft's COM.Many people have asked us if we're going to support JRI (Netscape's native interface API). When we wrote the VM for Internet Explorer, there wasn't a need for JRI, so we didn't implement it. But now that Sun's JNI is becoming the standard for a native interface to the VM, and the fact that JNI support is basically cross platform, we decided that we will support JNI in the 1.1 VM. I expect that Apple will move from JRI to JNI as well given that JRI is generally going away, so it looks like our decision was a good one.

We've also added some new features to Metrowerks Java to make it more useful as a Java development tool -- things like a basic JAR file maker, being able to print the console window, more flexible tool dialogs, and the ability to choose which VM you want to work with. As I write this, we're still sorting out what will or won't be included, so there may be more than that, but I can say these will be there.

Dave: What are you doing to improve JIT performance?

Tim: Enhancement of our JIT technology is bringing an enormous speed boost to our VM's performance. We have engineers that are dedicated to optimizing our core JIT technology, and this is really having tangible effects. Between CW11 and CWPro1, our benchmark scores doubled. We expect this trend to continue, as we add more and more optimzations to our JIT.

Kevin: With respect to the JIT, there are two types of optimizations which can be done. The first concerns improvements in code quality, i.e, making the JIT compiler produce code which is more optimal in some way. The second is concerned with making the translator (JIT) itself faster or more space efficient.

Our recent efforts have been towards improving code quality, sometimes at the expense of translator speed. As Tim mentioned, we've seen a tremendous improvement in some of our benchmark scores. This is due to an optimization step which we've added which performs transformations on the internal representation of a method. One example of the type of optimization that we've done is to look for patterns which represent the logical not operator in java. Since there is no java bytecode which represents the logical not, a java compiler is forced to compile something like the following java statement:

cond = !cond;

into the following java bytecodes:

0 iload_0
1 ifeq 8
4 iconst_0
5 goto 9
8 iconst_1
9 istore_0

Note that there are two branch instructions. If we were to naively transform this to native code, we'd also end up with a test and two branch instructions. But on most processors we can do considerably better. What we did is to invent a new instruction called "lnot". Our optimizer recognizes patterns like the above and transforms these patterns to our new "lnot" instruction. Remember that this new instruction is a new instruction in our internal form, not some new bytecode we've added. But if we were to code it as bytecodes, the above would look something like this:

0 iload_0
1 lnot
2 istore_0

Of course there are many other optimizations that we do, but most of them are similar to the one described above where we look for certain types of patterns and then perform the obvious transformation. Our future efforts will be to do more of the same and also some tuning of the JIT compiler itself so that it will do its translation in a shorter amount of time.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Civilization VI 1.0.6 - Next iteration o...
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the next entry in the popular Civilization franchise. Originally created by legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civilization is a strategy game in which you attempt to... Read more
Civilization VI 1.0.6 - Next iteration o...
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI is the next entry in the popular Civilization franchise. Originally created by legendary game designer Sid Meier, Civilization is a strategy game in which you attempt to... Read more
djay Pro 2.0.1 - Transform your Mac into...
djay Pro provides a complete toolkit for performing DJs. Its unique modern interface is built around a sophisticated integration with iTunes and Spotify, giving you instant access to millions of... Read more
Microsoft OneNote 15.41 - Free digital n...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
TechTool Pro 9.6 - Hard drive and system...
TechTool Pro has long been one of the foremost utilities for keeping your Mac running smoothly and efficiently. With the release of version 9, it has become more proficient than ever. TechTool... Read more
Apple iOS 11.2.1 - The latest version of...
iOS 11 sets a new standard for what is already the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. It makes iPhone better than before. It makes iPad more capable than ever. And now it opens up both to... Read more
Things 3.3 - Elegant personal task manag...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
RapidWeaver 7.5.5 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Adobe Animate CC 2018 18.0.1.115 - Anima...
Animate CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Flash Professional customer). Animate CC 2018 (was Flash CC) lets you... Read more
Postbox 5.0.22 - Powerful and flexible e...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Why Guns of Boom will be big for mobile...
Earlier this week, Game Insight, the minds that brought you Guns of Boom, revealed plans for an esports mode in the popular FPS title, with big implications for the game's future. Guns of Boom has been quite popular for some time now, so it's... | Read more »
Rules of Survival guide - how to boost y...
It's not easy surviving in the "every-man-for-himself" world of Rules of Survival. You'll be facing off against many other players who might be more skilled than you, or are luckier than you. There are a lot of factors weighing against you. With... | Read more »
FEZ Pocket Edition (Games)
FEZ Pocket Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Amazing Katamari Damacy guide - beginner...
Amazing Katamari Damacy brings the bizarro world of the original games to mobile and shifts them into an endless format that's just as addictive as the PlayStation entries. Your goal is still to roll as much random stuff as you possibly can, though... | Read more »
Portal Knights guide - crafting tips and...
In Portal Knights, you're only as strong as the items you have at your disposal. This sandbox adventure is all about crafting and building up the next big thing. Whether you're an avid explorer or collector, crafting will likely play a large part... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
A new week means new discounts on the App Store. This week's deals run the gamut of action-adventure titles, puzzle games, and one of the best narrative adventure series out there. If you're looking to fill out your mobile gaming library on a... | Read more »
What you need to know about Animal Cross...
We hope you've been hard at work on collecting all of those holiday items in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, because you're about to get a whole new list of fun things to do as the game receives its first big update sometime soon. There are a lot of... | Read more »
Reigns: Her Majesty guide - how to use e...
Ruling a kingdom isn't easy--doubly so for a queen whose every decision is questioned by the other factions seeking a slice of power. Reigns: Her Majesty builds on the original game's swipey tactics, adding items that you can use to move the story... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
Friday has crept up on us once again, so it's time to honor the best new games we've played over the past few days. This past week was a pretty exciting one, with the debut of lots of beautiful new indies and some familiar faces returning to the... | Read more »
Portal Knights guide- beginner tips and...
Portal Knights is finally making the jump to iOS and Android, and it's already climbing the ranks to become the next big MMO experience on mobile. This sprawling sandbox game will let you pursue any adventure you wish, whether you want to sling... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Beats Holiday sale at B&H, headphones and...
B&H Photo has Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, earphones, and speakers on sale for up to $80 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Expedited shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax to NY... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple resellers offer 2017 15″...
MacMall has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $220-$300 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2179, $220 off MSRP – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Silver (... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple resellers offer 13″ MacBo...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (... Read more
Apple Watch Series 2, Certified Refurbished,...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Apple Watch Nike+ Series 2s, 42mm Space Gray Aluminum Case with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Bands, available for $249 (38mm) or $279 (42mm). The 38mm model was out of... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ R...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks available starting at $949. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
B&H drops price on 13″ 256GB MacBook Air...
B&H has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB Apple MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A) now on sale for $1079 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price... Read more
Holiday sale: 9″ iPads starting at $299, take...
MacMall has 9″ WiFi iPads on sale for $30 off including free shipping: – 9″ 32GB WiFi iPad: $299 – 9″ 128GB WiFi iPad: $399 Read more
Green Monday deal: 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro on...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.8GHz Space Gray MacBook Pro on sale for $250 off MSRP for today only as part of their Green Monday/Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY... Read more
Green Monday sale: B&H offers 12″ Apple i...
B&H Photo has 12″ iPad Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP as part of their Green Monday/Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 12″ 64GB WiFi iPad... Read more
Holiday deal: 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale...
MacMall has 2017 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – 21″ 2.3GHz iMac: $999 $100 off MSRP – 21″ 3.0GHz iMac: $1199 $100 off MSRP – 21″ 3.4GHz iMac: $1379 $120... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 113124408 Waterford, CT, Connecticut, United States Posted: 17-Oct-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are you Read more
QA Automation Engineer, *Apple* Pay - Apple...
# QA Automation Engineer, Apple Pay Job Number: 113202642 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: 11-Dec-2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** At Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.