Re: htdig: htdig 4 - Java Issues

Sander van Zoest (
Thu, 28 May 1998 15:41:57 -0700 (PDT)

On Thu, 28 May 1998, ing. J.E.J. op den Brouw wrote:

>> You may or may not like it...
>> ht://Dig 4 will be written in Java.
> Ouch!! I hope they'll give me a Pentium <VeryMuchMHz> MMX/II and a lot
> of memory. The idea is o.k. though......

> Well, I tried to run the ICQ software for Linux written in Java and
> I needed some extra RAM to stay in business. When I compile just
> over 10 lines of java code (I'm trying to get the hang of it now),
> it takes my machine (P75/16MB) about 20 seconds to compile. C is
> faster....

You forget that in those 10 lines of code you could be creating
instances of several classes that depend on other classes that
it also needs to compile into byte code. Interdependancies between
classes can be complex and compiling things in the correct order
is crutial. I can almost garantee that the 10 lines of code you
were looking at would be a significant amount greater in procedural
> When you look at java applications beeing started (I don't mean
> applets), most java VM's take up a lot of memory. It is also
> an interpreter system, which mean slow. Native code is faster,

If you are really worried about that Servlets can offtake some of
that load (, or natively compiled java (JIT)
could make it speed up significantly. But like Andrew mentioned I
think we can probably stick with JVM with out too many issues.

> the searcher must be fast. Even when only one search request is to
> be handled, a response must come within a few seconds (< 20 seconds,
> if I believe our students)

I can see that you need this to be fast, but I am quite sure Andrew
is aware of that. If it comes down to it you can write a perl script
that talks to a java HtDig daemon (possibly even on a remote server).
Or talk to the SQL database directly via whatever language you prefer.

I think mostly where Java appears slow is in the GUI environments, so
knowning the current HtDig I don't think we have much to worry about.

-- Sander

Sander van Zoest
San Diego, CA (619) 576-4100

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