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SoyLatte is comparable to Apple’s JVM

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

Now that Apple has put the knife into their former buddy Java, many programmers are suddenly looking at alternative JVMs for the Mac, such as SoyLatte.

So “How does SoyLatte compare to Apple’s JVM?” is a common question. Well if your program uses Swing components the answer is “like a dog’s breakfast “. But if you use SWT or don’t have a graphical interface, your main concern is speed and stability. I don’t know how robust SoyLatte is, but to test its speed I went up to the attic and dusted off an old Eclipse plugin I wrote called JavaSpeed. Here’s the result:

soylatte-vs-apple

The results are based on this simple benchmark, which I fully admit aren’t very scientific but are better than nothing. Apple’s JVM seems to be better, but SoyLatte hasn’t disgraced itself.

I also checked out and built the latest OpenJDK as per these instructions, and tested all three JVMs:
compare-3-jvms

If you want to run these tests yourself, it’s a simple matter of downloading this zip file and extracting into the ‘plugins’ directory of Eclipse. Run Eclipse and click menu Run > Run Configurations > Java Speed and click the ‘New’ button.

Finally, let’s compare Apples with Apples:
compare-apples

Looks like Apple took their eye off the ball when it came to Java, but then you already knew that, didn’t you?

How We Increased Sales by Asking for an Email

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27th, 2009 by admin – Be the first to comment

A common question asked by software developers is: Should we ask users for an email before they can try our software? Asking for an email would be useful for marketing purposes, but would be a turn-off for some users and discourage them from trying it.

This is exactly the question we asked a few months ago – to answer it we set up an A/B test. Half the visitors to our download page were asked for their name and email address, half weren’t.
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The UML Diagram They Don’t Teach You in School

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1st, 2008 by admin – Be the first to comment

I love class diagrams. When I’m knee-deep in spaghetti code there’s nothing better to help me understand what’s going on. I’ve even developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder which requires me to have a pen and paper handy at all times ‘just in case’ I need to jot down a little class diagram.

But recently I came across a bit of code that was resistant to the power of the class diagram. What if there are no significant class relationships, just a bunch of static methods?
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Solar Accounts Released

Posted in Uncategorized on February 1st, 2008 by admin – Be the first to comment

Well after 3 years development we’ve finally released Solar Accounts:

www.SolarAccounts.co.uk

Ten Under-Appreciated Eclipse Keystrokes

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11th, 2008 by admin – Be the first to comment

Think you know Eclipse? Most programmers quickly learn the common keystrokes but don’t take advantage of other good shortcuts. Here are my favourite lesser-known ones:
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Negative Productivity

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29th, 2007 by admin – 1 Comment

Would you rather have a team of three excellent programmers or 15 with average ability? Most programmers would want the team of three, but most managers I suspect would pick the larger team. There’s plenty of support for the idea that the excellent-to-average productivity ratio is at least five, but you occasionally hear, “Well, I could believe two or three times as productive, but five or ten…?”
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Swing Font Rendering Still Playing Catch-up

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14th, 2007 by admin – Be the first to comment

Three years ago we chose SWT for our accounting software partly because Swing was painfully bad at rendering text. Since then Swing has come a long way, though it’s still not as good as Microsoft or Apple.

See for yourself; below are examples of different fonts rendered on different platforms.
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Missing Swing Components

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8th, 2006 by admin – Be the first to comment

For years Swing has been missing some very obvious components. Java developers have been crying out for common controls such as a Date Picker, Wizard Dialog and Progress Dialog.

Sure, there are dozens of third-party libraries, but these are generally third-rate solutions. I don’t want to use something a kid put together for his college assignment, and I don’t want to pay fifty bucks for a simple date text field. There needs to be one, official, standard implementation for each common control. Microsoft understands this. So does Eclipse. Why can’t Sun?

Having said this, here is my attempt at a couple of these dialogs:
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JavaSpeed Eclipse Plugin

Posted in Uncategorized on October 21st, 2006 by admin – Be the first to comment

Benchmarks are tedious to run. You have to compile the code, execute the tests, record the results, create charts and tables. Then the benchmark becomes out of date as soon as a new compiler, JRE or CPU is released.

So I’ve created JavaSpeed, an Eclipse plugin to run a small set of performance tests based on this benchmark. The screenshots are self-explanatory:

Screenshot 1

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On the Bandwagon

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20th, 2006 by admin – Be the first to comment

Like literally a million other people, I’ve decided to set up my blog. I’m not aiming for a Pulitzer prize, just something above the usual What-My-Cat-Ate-For-Breakfast drivel. I believe Steve Martin said it best in Planes, Trains and Automobiles:

“And by the way, you know, when you’re telling these little stories? Here’s a good idea – have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!”

For the curious, my old site is here.