Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Automic Blog, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Weblogic, Machine Learning

Java IoT: Article

Java Method Size

Getting around the 64K limit

The Java Virtual Machine specification limits the size of generated Java byte code for each method in a class to the maximum of 64K bytes. This limitation will cause the JVM to throw java.lang.VerifyError at runtime when the method size exceeds this limit.

This method size restriction of the JVM seems to be too stringent. A bug is open with the Oracle Java development team (http://bugs.sun.com/view_bug.do?bug_id=4262078). This bug is taken as an enhancement request which is likely to be fixed in the future java versions. That said, the fix for this issue is rather supportive. Application/Container developers need to consider few factors and apply good programming/refactoring techniques to get around this problem. While future versions of JVM might increase the method size limit to a considerable extent, a the size will always be a finite value.

In this article, I discuss some of the techniques that can be used to get around this problem. The techniques/suggestions discussed here, while apply to development environments also, are primarily targeted for containers which involve code generation as part of compilation process (e.g., EJB container or a JSP container).

Applications and Method Size Limit
While applications written in Java seldom encounter this issue, even more so after the above noted bug is fixed, it is recommended to follow the proven software engineering principles like code refactoring and object oriented programming techniques.

The complexity of this issue in application development is relatively smaller. As the code is written through the development phase, a number of tests are run both at the Unit level as well as the system level. Also, it is very rare that the application development involves complex code generation during the build time. This gives the developer/architect an opportunity to identify the possible method size restriction issue well ahead of the final delivery.

Application Containers and Method Size Limit
Application Containers are environments where Java applications execute. So they carry very high degree of complexity in terms of code. As the containers consume the application code and configuration and provide services for the application runtime, containers most often involve code generation. This code generation can be very complex in systems like JSP compiler as they convert scripting languages to Java.

This makes containers involving code generation particularly vulnerable to the Java method size limit restriction.

Techniques for Resolving the Method Size Restriction
In this section, I detail some of the techniques which can be used in code generation area to cover most of the use cases which cause the method size restriction.

Splitting a Big Method into Smaller Pieces
This is one of the structured programming techniques which can be used with effect. The driving factor for this technique should be the code refactoring. After the code generation is completed, a careful examination of the bigger methods can give us some clue of moving some of the java statements to a different private method. This is typically reverse engineering the output to a fine grained control.

Using a Intermediate Super Class
This applies particularly to areas such as EJB and JSP. A JSP file once converted into a Java class will typically extend a JspServlet class (implemented differently by different container vendors). The core refactoring technique here is to move the rudimentary code into the super class so that the generated class becomes light. However, this technique is fairly primitive. Most modern container vendors have already optimized their code to include almost everything possible into their super class implementation.

Using Helper Class/Methods
The third refactoring technique is to use a helper class. One particular use case is a JSP compiler handling a %@include...% directive. JSP specification mandates that the static includes need to be expanded inline in the generated service method. This adds to the size of the generated service method. One refactoring that can be used here is to move the expanded code into a private member function in the generated Java file and include just the method call in the service method.

Another area is the scripting elements in the JSP file. All the scripting elements are parsed and then included inline in the generated service() method of the java file. A similar refactoring technique discussed above can be used for the scripting elements as well.

Code generation engines can consider generating a Helper class which contains all the refactored methods and shield the Helper class from end-user's direct access.

Using JVM Switches
Java compilers generate .class files, with each file containing bytecodes for the methods in one class. These files contain a series of sections, or attributes, and it's possible to exercise some control over which sections actually show up in a .class file. The Code attribute contains actual bytecodes for methods, SourceFile information on the source file name used to generate this .class file, LineNumberTable mapping information between bytecode offsets and source file line numbers, and LocalVariableTable mapping information between stack frame offsets and local variable names.

We can use options to the javac compiler to control which sections are included:

javac Code, SourceFile, LineNumberTable
javac -g Code, SourceFile, LineNumberTable, LocalVariableTable
javac -g:none Code

How much do these options affect code size? A test using the JDK 1.2.2 sources in the java.io, java.lang, and java.util packages was run, with total sizes of all .class files as follows:

javac 668K
javac -g 815K
javac -g:none 550K

So use of javac -g:none saves about 20% in space over the default javac, and using javac -g is about 20% larger than the default. There are also commercial tools that tackle this particular problem.

If you strip out information such as line numbers from .class files, you may have problems with debugging and exception reporting. So it is recommended that the container vendors provide a configuration mechanism to switch off/on this feature so the production environments can take advantage.

Conclusion
Any refactoring technique will not completely alleviate the method size restriction. Excessive template text and scripting elements in the scripting languages will almost always cause the compilers to generate heavier methods and may lead to the method size restriction. The solution to this problem is supportive. Developers need to concentrate on good programming techniques so that the scripting language code like JSP will be more maintainable. JSP specification recommends using tag libraries that promote reusability while considerably reducing the size of the generated service method.

More Stories By Shankar Itchapurapu

Shankar Itchapurapu is a software engineer at Oracle in India. He holds a Master's degree in Computer Applications. You can e-mail Shankar at [email protected]

@ThingsExpo Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile exhibited at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on qua...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness. For more information, please visit https://www.cedexis.com.