January 30, 2003
How to Make Java Applications Go Faster: O'Reilly Releases a New Edition of "Java Performance Tuning"
Sebastopol, CA--Performance problems have vexed Java developers and
architects since the first version of the language hit the streets in
the mid-'90s. Java development tools have improved significantly over
the years, most recently with the 1.4 version of the Software
Development Kit (SDK), but as Jack Shirazi points out in his new
edition of Java Performance Tuning (O'Reilly, US $44.95), the process
of tuning a program's code to remove bottlenecks is still essential for
improving speed and performance, especially for J2EE applications.
"Performance tuning of Java applications hasn't lost any of its
importance," Shirazi asserts. "It's second only to the primary
functionality of an application."
In this updated edition of "Java Performance Tuning," Shirazi uses
real-life examples to show how tricks such as minimizing object
creation and replacing strings with arrays can improve the code for any
Java application, applet, servlet, bean, library, or other component.
With over three hundred tuning techniques, the book offers a common
sense approach about what to tune and what to leave alone, noting that
blindly changing things to make a program run faster is a great way to
create buggy, unmaintainable code. Instead, Shirazi emphasizes
techniques that provide big performance gains with minimal code
The reasons for sluggish performance are not always clear to
developers."This book shows why a particular Java application might be
running slower than expected and suggests ways to avoid or overcome
these pitfalls and improve performance," Shirazi explains.
Shirazi notes that the most recent version of J2SE, the standard
edition of the software, addresses significant problems with server I/O
performance, and improves object creation and garbage collection with
the latest Java Virtual Machine. The new version of J2EE, Java's
Enterprise Edition, "addresses application partitioning issues which
can make an enormous difference to J2EE applications," he adds. But
nonoptimal coding and "overhead" in the Java runtime system can still
slow things down.
"Java Performance Tuning" gives step-by-step instructions on all
aspects of the performance-tuning process, from goal setting,
performance measurement, and choosing a compiler, to detailed examples
on using profiling tools and applying the results to tune the code.
This isn't an entry-level book about Java, but developers and
architects don't need any previous tuning knowledge to benefit from it.
All test results have been updated using the latest versions of the
Java Virtual Machine, including those released with SDK 1.4.
The second edition also includes specific information on application
tuning for J2EE. One new chapter discusses how to optimize the
performance of distributed systems, while others show how to speed up
servlets and JSPs, how to structure JDBC usage efficiently, and how to
effectively design patterns to optimize Enterprise JavaBean
Shirazi's book grew out of his web site, JavaPerformanceTuning.com. "I
once worked with a customer who wanted to know if there was a 'go
faster' switch somewhere that he could just turn on and make the whole
application go faster," explains Shirazi, an independent consultant and
early adopter of Java. "There is no such switch, but very simple
techniques sometimes provide the equivalent."
What critics said about the first edition:
"So you bit the bullet and wrote that big application in Java, and now
the boss says it runs too slow. You'll probably want to get this
--Marc Briand, C/C++ Users Journal
"You have been working on that Java application for two weeks and it's
finally ready for testing. Your window for having the web site down is
ten minutes but you aren't concerned. Three hours later with the
program still running, you are more than concerned. Before you panic,
pick up a copy of 'Java Performance Tuning.' This book is geared for
serious developers who need to dramatically improve performance in
their applications and are willing to dig deep into the code. Besides
being well written, the book is fun. I found myself trying to figure
out along with the author how to improve the performance of the various
examples demonstrated in the book"
--Thomas Paul, www.javaranch.com
"To get the biggest bang for your buck and maximize your program's
efficiency, the experienced Java developers will find 'Java Performance
Tuning' the best resource. No other book approaches the quality and
depth of its techniques. Giving copies of this book to every member of
your development team will save you money in the long run. Five
--John Zukowski, JavaWorld
Java Performance Tuning, 2nd Edition
By Jack Shirazi
0-596-00377-3, Order Number: 3773
588 pages, $44.95 US, $69.95 CA, 31.95 UK
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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