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News February 28, 2005

Get rid of your performance problems and memory leaks!

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The SWT/Swing discussion waffles on. Gosling comments, Eckel counters. ( For those of us who looked at emulated versus native all through the 90's, there is nothing new, not even the arguers inability to decide what we already learned 10 years ago: native is better for some projects, emulation is better for others.

Why am I joining the waffle? Because of the performance fud. I'll state right up front, a Swing app can be blazingly fast. There is no doubt about it, get a Swing performance guru in and he'll manage it - or find a bug trying. And it's likely that if you tune it on one platform, it'll already be fast enough on most of the other platforms. Likely, but not guaranteed.

An SWT app can be blazingly fast. You probably need to put less effort in tuning it to get there. But more effort in making it fast enough (or even working) if you need to support multiple platforms. So what do you need? Evaluate your requirements, ignore the entrenched positions of the advocates because they really have nothing new to say, and choose what is most appropriate for your project. Java is here to serve your requirements, not the other way round. Both Swing and SWT are valid solutions for those requirements.

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In the newsletter we list our usual raft of articles, news and tools, and we provide our usual sections. Kirk gets us a scoop on the new TheServerSide editor, and covers memory leaks, avoiding generating DOM when using XML, 6.0 performance, and much more in his roundup; our Question of the month re-visits the overheads imposed by the volatile and synchronized keywords; and we have many new performance tips extracted in concise form.

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Jack Shirazi

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