Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oh Ubuntu, why must your Java VM be so terrible?

Ubuntu has finally let me down. Breezy has, for some time now, had
eclipse in available, using gcj (a gcc frontend that compiles java
source to native code). Tonight, I figured I'd install eclipse at
home, and play around with writing plugins. For added fun, I might
grab a copy of Sun's java VM, and do some benchmarking. I was
certainly willing to sacrifice portability for speed in this case, but
it would be interesting to see just how much speed I was getting.


gcj also includes a java class file interpreter, gij. gij is slower than frozen molasses (or treacle) traveling uphill against a strong headwind and carrying 65 copies of code complete (it's big and heavy, see?).
gij is so slow that I was able to play a few levels of tetris in emacs while waiting for each successive screen in the 'New Project' wizard to appear.

It should be simple enough to grab Sun's VM from a third party,
and use that instead of gcj, while still getting the benefits of
having package management for the rest of my java goodness, but that's
one more hoop to jump through, and I'm growing tired of jumping
through hoops in my old age. One of these days I'll hook my foot on the bottom of the hoop and get a nasty bruise when I land head-first on the ground.

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