Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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The Java Garbage Man Cometh On Time And When Expected.

An interesting announcement from today's sessions at BEA World here in Santa Clara: the development of a deterministic version of the JRockit JVM - and the announcement of a real time edition of the Weblogic application server.

It's especially interesting as it means that there's finally a way of getting a real-time Java. Java works well in most circumstances, but its garbage collection is non-deterministic. You cannot control when, or for how long, the JVM runs its garbage collection routines. While this is one of Java's strengths (there's no need to write memory, stack and pointer management code), it's also one of its biggest weaknesses, and disqualifies the language from many applications.

You can't use Java for large-scale trading applications, as this means that there's no way of ensuring repeatable transaction timings - as the JVM could quite happily take processing cycles at any time and for any length of time. By making garbage collection deterministic (and controllable), BEA can deliver transactions in fixed times - exactly what the financial sector is looking for in its trading applications. It'll also make things easier for telcos and help them manage their switching fabric more effectively.

Now, will we get a deterministic version of the .NET CLR?
Tags: bea, java, jrockit, weblogic
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