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Performance on today's desktop

 
 
gerrards8 @yahoo.com
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      09-26-2005
With today's *average* personal/business desktop computing power, do you
consider Java based client applications to be slow? (to remain pure,
let's just concentrate on Swing based apps)

If so, at what point (in time and/or JVM release) did this performance
issue become a non-issue?

If not, is it the application architecture or the JVM (and its libs,
i.e., Swing) that's behind this lag in performance?

Please base you reply on desktop computers that can be purchased in your
market today, clean of all the infestations of unnecessary memory
resident and background processes that are normally pre-installed on
commodity type Win systems.
 
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gerrards8 @yahoo.com
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      09-26-2005
That was very bad!

Please _revise_ question to:

With today's personal/business desktop computing power, do you consider
the performance of Java based client applications to be satisfactory?
(to remain pure, let's just concentrate on Swing based apps)

If so, at what point (in time and/or JVM release) did this performance
issue become a non-issue?

If not, is it the application architecture or the JVM that's behind this
lag in performance?

Please base you reply on desktop computers that can be purchased today,
clean of all the infestations of unnecessary memory resident and
background processes that are normally pre-installed on commodity type
Win systems.


Sorry for the confustion..
 
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Monique Y. Mudama
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      09-26-2005
On 2005-09-26, gerrards8 @yahoo.com penned:
> With today's *average* personal/business desktop computing power, do
> you consider Java based client applications to be slow? (to remain
> pure, let's just concentrate on Swing based apps)


They're not blazingly fast, but they're not slow. I guess it depends
on what you mean by slow. Slower than native? User would say that
it's slow?

> If so, at what point (in time and/or JVM release) did this
> performance issue become a non-issue?


I think it had less to do with the JVM than with improvements in
hardware over tmie.

> If not, is it the application architecture or the JVM (and its libs,
> i.e., Swing) that's behind this lag in performance?
>
> Please base you reply on desktop computers that can be purchased in
> your market today, clean of all the infestations of unnecessary
> memory resident and background processes that are normally
> pre-installed on commodity type Win systems.


Why? That's not a realistic expectation of a user machine. User
machines were probably purchased a few years ago and are almost
certainly infested.

--
monique

Ask smart questions, get good answers:
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
 
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elektrophyte
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      09-26-2005
gerrards8 @yahoo.com wrote:
> With today's *average* personal/business desktop computing power, do you
> consider Java based client applications to be slow? (to remain pure,
> let's just concentrate on Swing based apps)
>
> If so, at what point (in time and/or JVM release) did this performance
> issue become a non-issue?
>
> If not, is it the application architecture or the JVM (and its libs,
> i.e., Swing) that's behind this lag in performance?


I've been using the IntelliJ IDEA Java development environment, a Swing
app, for about two years and it's fine on average to high end PCs. At
first it seemed a little slower than native GUI applications, but
definitely useable. I never had any problem with it's speed. Since
about a year ago, the difference has not been noticable; there's been
no "lag".

> Please base you reply on desktop computers that can be purchased in your
> market today, clean of all the infestations of unnecessary memory
> resident and background processes that are normally pre-installed on
> commodity type Win systems.


Most computers I work with are loaded with lots of background
processes. Actually, one of the guys has noticed that it doesn't play
well with the Novell Groupwise client for Windows, come to think of it.
But I never noticed that problem.

In general, my sense is that with today's machines, and improvements to
Java, Swing application performance is acceptible. You could easily try
it out for yourself by trying some of the apps found here:

http://java.sun.com/products/jfc/tsc/sightings/

E

 
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Oliver Wong
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      09-26-2005

"gerrards8 @yahoo.com" <seeName@noSpam> wrote in message
news:7_WZe.2242$(E-Mail Removed)...
> With today's *average* personal/business desktop computing power, do you
> consider Java based client applications to be slow? (to remain pure,
> let's just concentrate on Swing based apps)


The two Java applications I think of when I think of "Slow Java
Applications" are Eclipse and JEdit, and occasionally Azureus.

The only native program that I know of that does something of similar
complexity to Azureus is eMule, and they're about the same speed. That is to
say, the bottleneck is probably not CPU power but rather disk I/O and
network I/O.

The only native program that I know of that does something of similar
complexity to Eclipse is Visual Studio. Actually, Visual Studio does far
less "real time code analysis" (e.g. detecting errors as you type,
quickfixes, intellisense, etc.) The two are of comparable speed, with
Eclipse being a bit faster while actually "running" (might be an illusion
from it continuously pre-compiling, as opposed to VS's "compile when the
user says to compiler"), but Eclipse takes longer to load and quit.

The only native program that I know of that does something of similar
complexity to JEdit is TextPad. TextPad does quite a deal less than JEdit,
but TextPad is blazing fast compared to JEdit. So here's a situation where
Java might actually lose out due to performance; whether a user prefers
JEdit or TextPad would depend on whether they are willing to wait longer in
exchange for more features or not. Maybe someone should optimize JEdit (be
sure to profile first!), or write a clone of TextPad in Java, with all the
extra features in JEdit stripped out for performance?

For every other Java application I've used, speed was not an issue. As a
specific example, JDiskReport (http://www.jgoodies.com/freeware/index.html)
shows you free disk space on your harddrive. The equivalent native program
is DiskSpacePlus (http://www.softwhile.com/product_dsp.html). I find
JDiskReport actually "feels" faster, but this probably due to JDiskReport
using a seperate thread to scan the disk drive than the one drawing the UI,
while the DiskSpacePlus application seems to be using the same thread for
both (i.e. while scanning the disk, it does not repaint the window or
responds to mouse clicks).

So, IMHO, Java is "fast enough" except in the domain of plain text
editors.

> If so, at what point (in time and/or JVM release) did this performance
> issue become a non-issue?


Maybe I was a late adopter, but I've never encountered a Java program
that was slow for which there existed a noticeably faster native program
(except for the JEdit vs TextPad situation mentioned above). I'm told there
was a point in history during which Java was dog slow. I guess back then,
people didn't bother releasing many Java applications because it was so
slow, which is why I never really encountered any such applications. When
Java sped up, more applications were released which were written in Java,
and so when I encountered them, I never experienced this "slowness" that
some people claim to be a property of Java.

> Please base you reply on desktop computers that can be purchased in your
> market today, clean of all the infestations of unnecessary memory resident
> and background processes that are normally pre-installed on commodity type
> Win systems.


I'm basinc my reply on my own experiences, which is composed mostly of
my own personal computer.

- Oliver


 
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Thomas Hawtin
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      09-26-2005
Oliver Wong wrote:
> "gerrards8 @yahoo.com" <seeName@noSpam> wrote in message
> news:7_WZe.2242$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>>With today's *average* personal/business desktop computing power, do you
>>consider Java based client applications to be slow? (to remain pure,
>>let's just concentrate on Swing based apps)

>
>
> The two Java applications I think of when I think of "Slow Java
> Applications" are Eclipse and JEdit, and occasionally Azureus.


Eclipse is not a Swing app.

JEdit is incredibly badly written and is slow because of its
"optimisations" (what else would you expect from a GPL program</troll>).

When I think slow application, I think Thunderbird, Firebird, Opera and
gedit.

Tom Hawtin
--
Unemployed English Java programmer
http://jroller.com/page/tackline/
 
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elektrophyte
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      09-26-2005
Oliver Wong wrote:
> I'm told there
> was a point in history during which Java was dog slow.


I think that's true. When I started programming in Java in 2000 I tried
to use Sun's "Forte" IDE which was written in Java. On a 550 mHz PC
with 256 MB or RAM it was indeed miserably slow.

> I never experienced this "slowness" that
> some people claim to be a property of Java.


I can think of reasons someone would choose not to develop a desktop
app in Java. However, the slowness issue has been pretty much resolved.
It's too bad the Java platform can't shake the reputation of being
slow, even though it isn't anymore.

E

 
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gerrards8 @yahoo.com
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      09-26-2005
Oliver Wong wrote:
> Maybe I was a late adopter, but I've never encountered a Java program
> that was slow for which there existed a noticeably faster native program
> (except for the JEdit vs TextPad situation mentioned above).



You bring up great examples, and I totally agree with them.

But, let's look at similar examples from the other side.

What about office type applications (Word, Excel, Power Point)? Only
one I can think of is ThinkFree (not sure if they include an API to
integrate with their product). Perhaps there is only one choice of a
decent HTML or PDF renderer in the market, and the price is way up!
Very few Email and SQL clients (dbVisualizer rocks!). Hardly a fully
functional reporting tool that would meet Crystal Reports or MS Access'
reporting features plus ease/speed of report design, and the list goes
on...

I do believe the speed has been a non-issue, even with Swing, for 2 to 3
years now but don't understand why desktop Apps (free or for $) are very
rare, specially the kind that can integrate and enrich other Java
desktop Apps.
 
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Roedy Green
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      09-27-2005
On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 22:17:58 +0100, Thomas Hawtin
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote or quoted :

>When I think slow application, I think Thunderbird, Firebird, Opera and
>gedit.


Why are browsers slow?

1. because servers are slow

2. because transmission is slow

3. because of errors causing retransmissions?

4. because of having to parse unclean markup and make sense of it
anyway.

5. because HTML is so designed that you need the entire document
before you can completely nail down the layout.

6. something else.
--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
http://mindprod.com Again taking new Java programming contracts.
 
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Roedy Green
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      09-27-2005
On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 18:19:04 -0400, "gerrards8 @yahoo.com"
<seeName@noSpam> wrote or quoted :

>I do believe the speed has been a non-issue, even with Swing, for 2 to 3
>years now but don't understand why desktop Apps (free or for $) are very
>rare, specially the kind that can integrate and enrich other Java
>desktop Apps.


Same reason you don't see non-java such apps. To compete you have a
lot of catching up to do. The other reason is Java is very easy to
decompile. Companies like to keep they code obscure.
--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
http://mindprod.com Again taking new Java programming contracts.
 
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