Older blog entries for twisti (starting at number 24)

28 Jan 2009 (updated 7 May 2011 at 06:17 UTC) »

My first commit

Yesterday I was able, after some trouble with Mercurial queues, to push my first commit to the HotSpot repository.  The changeset is actually uninspiring but hey, it's my first one!

Syndicated 2009-01-28 09:51:24 (Updated 2009-01-28 17:51:24) from twisti's weblog

14 Jan 2009 (updated 7 May 2011 at 06:17 UTC) »

Into the Sun

Those of you who have wondered what I will do in the future: I'm now part of the HotSpot team at Sun Microsystems and I will work on the C2 (server) compiler.

Actually today is my third day but only now my account is working.  I'm really looking forward to tackle the challenges that will come up.

And as I always said, I will not leave the Free Java Community...

Syndicated 2009-01-14 16:39:39 (Updated 2009-01-15 00:39:39) from twisti's weblog


1. ...Random

For the last two and a half years I played in a punkrock band called Random and in autumn last year we decided to quit (farewell letter is in german, sorry).

There were different reasons for this decision, but mostly personal ones. Our singer opened his own restaurant in my hometown Linz (give him a visit when you are there, it's a great place) and I got sick about traveling every weekend from Vienna to Linz for rehearsal.

Anyway, it was a great time and I don't want to miss it! Thank you guys!

If you want to get a piece of that time, try to get a copy of our latest CD or download the songs from various download platforms.

2. ...CACAO

Also last autumn I quit my job at Theobroma Systems where I worked full-time on CACAO. Again, there were different reasons for my retirement.

I started my work on CACAO during my computer science studies at the Vienna University of Technology with a practical course about an i386 backend for the JIT compiler. My diploma thesis ("Optimizing and Porting the CACAO JVM") was about a x86_64 backend and some class loader optimizations, like eager class loading.

After my thesis I started my Ph.D. in the Christian Doppler Laboratory: Compilation Techniques for Embedded Processors, where I worked on a port of CACAO to a DSP architecture. Unfortunately funding was discontinued and I had to cancel my Ph.D.

Since 2004 I was kind of the "official" maintainer of the CACAO project and since then CACAO matured from a "fast JIT compiler for Java bytecode" to something you can really call a Java Virtual Machine. One big advantage of CACAO is the number of architectures its JIT compiler supports (about 11).

In May 2007 Sun released OpenJDK and I started to implement the HotSpot VM interface in CACAO. I think CACAO was the first non-HotSpot JVM that supported the OpenJDK core library (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Then RedHat launched the IcedTea project and HotSpot got a generic port of the HotSpot C++ interpreter called Zero. The development of Zero pushed me for the first time to think about the future of CACAO and myself. When the official and JCK-tested JVM can run on literally all architectures out there, who will still use CACAO?

Well, the answer is probably: those who want performance.

But RedHat (actually Gary Benson) came up with another very cool thing called Shark. Shark is the answer to the performance problem of Zero: it uses LLVM to do the JIT compilation in a mixed mode. Although it's not finished yet, it will be the main competitor for CACAO when it comes to decide which JVM you should use on your non-HotSpot architecture. Shark pushed me for the second time to think about the future of CACAO and myself...

Mostly for these reasons and since I always wanted to integrate an optimizing compiler in CACAO and implement mature optimizations in this compiler, but it seemed there is not enough time for a single person to do that, I decided to quit at Theobroma Systems and to quit my work on and maintainership of CACAO.

In the meantime Michael Starzinger will take the maintainership of CACAO. He's a long-time contributor and he knows a lot of the CACAO system. He's the right person for this job.

For me, hopefully a new and challenging opportunity will open up where I can work on the things I always liked to in the past few years. I will let you know...

Right-mouse on a MacBook Pro

I've got a new, shiny MackBook Pro (actually an old one like this but with 15", because I don't like the new ones) and, as probably everyone knows: it only has one button. That sucks very much when it comes to context menus. On my old PowerBook G4 I had some settings in my xorg.conf to enable two- and three-finger taps, but I don't wanted to do that again.

Instead I wanted something to be turned on in GNOME itself. So my attention came to accessibility extensions.

Fortunately I don't need them but there is a nice mouse feature called "Simulated Secondary Click". I wanted to turn on "Trigger secondary click by holding down the primary button", but it said something about "mousetweaks is not installed". Damn...

I searched the OpenSolaris package repositories but couldn't find it. I thought this is a GNOME core package? And what about handicapped people really needing this? So I searched in the spec-files and found this as comment in SUNWgnome-a11y-mousetweaks:

# We have removed mousetweaks from our builds since it is GPLv3.
# For now, leave in the following comment so that our ARC
# recognize that we are not shipping this module starting with
# the 2.24 release.  When we re-integrate this package, remove
# the following line:

I have also filed a bug report to see what the exact problem is.

In the meantime I built it myself from source. I downloaded JDS Common Build Environment (CBE), patched the spec-file a bit:

Index: SUNWgnome-a11y-mousetweaks.spec
--- SUNWgnome-a11y-mousetweaks.spec	(revision 16491)
+++ SUNWgnome-a11y-mousetweaks.spec	(working copy)
@@ -23,7 +23,7 @@
 Name:                    SUNWgnome-a11y-mousetweaks
 Summary:                 provided mouse accessibility
 Version:                 %{mousetweaks.version}
-Source:                  %{name}-manpages-0.1.tar.gz
+#Source:                  %{name}-manpages-0.1.tar.gz
 SUNW_BaseDir:            %{_basedir}
 SUNW_Copyright:          %{name}.copyright
 BuildRoot:               %{_tmppath}/%{name}-%{version}-build
@@ -79,9 +79,9 @@
 %mousetweaks.install -d %name-%version
-rm -rf $RPM_BUILD_ROOT%{_mandir}
-cd %{_builddir}/%name-%version/sun-manpages
+#rm -rf $RPM_BUILD_ROOT%{_mandir}
+#cd %{_builddir}/%name-%version/sun-manpages
+#make install DESTDIR=$RPM_BUILD_ROOT
 %if %build_l10n

...and: voila! I have a right mouse. Nice.

(free) OpenJDK on OpenSolaris, Part 64

After getting the 32-bit IcedTea built, I also want a 64-bit OpenSolaris version. But I can't get over this error:

1. ERROR in
(at line 28)
        import com.sun.tools.jdi.LinkedHashMap;
The import com.sun.tools.jdi.LinkedHashMap cannot be resolved
1 problem (1 error)make[7]: *** [../generated/sa-jdi.jar]
Error 255

I am absolutely sure I had the same issue with the 32-bit build, but I can't remember how I fixed it. Damn!

So I decided to build OpenJDK directly with my pre-built IcedTea. Again it took some workarounds, but it worked:

$ java -version
openjdk version "1.6.0-internal"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build
OpenJDK Server VM (build 10.0-b19, mixed mode)

And the actually wanted 64-bit version:

$ java -d64 -version
openjdk version "1.6.0-internal"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 10.0-b19, mixed mode)

Now I will try OpenJDK7.

(free) OpenJDK on OpenSolaris

Today I was able for the first time to build OpenJDK on OpenSolaris completely with free tools. Unfortunately I couldn't use use CACAO as bootstrap VM because Boehm-GC has some problems on OpenSolaris, which I couldn't fix yet.

Since GCJ also uses Boehm-GC, I decided to use JamVM. The port was very straight-forward, except one small getcwd problem for which Robert already had a fix for. I will contribute all JamVM changes back to Robert.

After some IcedTea build system changes (yet to commit), some JVMTI file copying (maybe this is a JamVM bug, see instructions at the end), a small OpenJDK patch and some time, I got:

IcedTea is served: openjdk/control/build/solaris-i586

And, obviously, the build works:

$ uname -a
SunOS workstation 5.11 snv_98 i86pc i386 i86pc Solaris
$ java -version
java version "1.6.0_0"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (build 1.6.0_0-b12)
OpenJDK Server VM (build 1.6.0_0-b12, mixed mode)

I tried to write down all stuff that needs to be done here, but I'm very sure some steps are missing...

CACAO 0.99.3 runs Jake2

Two days ago I actually released CACAO 0.99.3, but didn't have time to do the announcement yet. Nonetheless the release has one very cool feature: you can play Jake2 for the first time! Simply run the Jake2 Webstart (I used the jogl-1.1 one) and start fragging.

Here is a screenshot playing it on x86_64-linux:

It should run on other architectures too, I'll try powerpc when I'm back home.

Finally: OpenJDK 6 b11 on Alpha Linux

Yesterday I finally was able to finish the OpenJDK build on Alpha Linux. I'm not exactly sure what really fixed the build, but definitely adding the missing compiler flags again (with -D_LITTLE_ENDIAN) helped. When Gary commited his zero work we lost some architecture dependent flags, I'll re-add them ASAP.

And now to the fun:

Finally a new release... and another one.

Pheew! After more than one year our codebase was ready to get a new release... so I did. And then I noticed, because I was a bit out of practice doing a release, it had a few bugs. Yeah, of course :-( So I made another one, called 0.99.1.

With official OpenJDK Java runtime library support we are now heading to a 1.0.0 release. I hope that one will be without bugs...

Changing Emacs' default font

I wanted to change the default font of Emacs without setting properties in the .Xresources. The window font can be changed with:

M-x customize-face RET default RET

I set it to misc-fixed with height 113.

The menubar font can be changed with:

M-x customize-face RET menu RET

I'm still searching for the correct font, but in my .Xresources it was:

Emacs*menubar.font: Lucida

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