Lone Star Software Symposium: Austin
August 12 - 14, 2005 - Austin, TX
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Under the Hood of Java Memory Management
Most of the time, Java's automatic memory management works really well—it's one of the things that makes programming in Java a pleasant and productive experience, and it's nice that we don't have to worry about managing memory manually. However, although it's usually nice to ignore memory management, occasionally we have to pay close attention. Sometimes we need to take control of certain aspects of memory management. Sometimes Java programs do exhibit memory leaks, or unacceptably long garbage collection pauses, or very poor overall performance. But because Java's memory management is supposed to be "fully automatic," it can be difficult to find out what's really going on inside the VM.
Java memory management is just like most labor-saving simplifications: it works well most of the time, but for the weird edge cases when it doesn't work quite right, it can be a nightmare. This talk opens the hood, examining the inner workings of Java's memory system, including allocation and garbage collection. We'll look at how to control the memory system and interact with it, what's costly and what's not, how to tune the garbage collector and when to switch to a different GC algorithm, and other topics.
About Glenn Vanderburg
Glenn Vanderburg is a principal at Relevance, where he is focused on cutting-edge software development technologies and techniques. He brings more than 20 years of experience developing software across a wide range of domains, and using a variety of tools and technologies. Glenn is always searching for ways to improve the state of software development, and was an early adopter and proponent of Ruby, Rails, and agile practices.More About Glenn »