Monday, Afternoon
Resource Management in Java
Convention Ctr – 208A
Angelika Langer, Independent Consultant

Management of heap memory is well supported in Java, thanks to the garbage collector. Memory, however, is not the only resource that needs to be managed in a Java program. In this tutorial we explore how Java supports management of resources other than heap memory. The most common problem with resource management is improper release of acquired resources. The Java language offers a number of language constructs for cleanup activities such as resource release – namely finalizers, the finally clause, and reference objects. Closer examination of these mechanisms reveals that the amount of control provided over resource release is limited and might be unsatisfactory if reliable resource release is of paramount importance. We will see that there is no guarantee that a finalizer will ever be invoked, we will talk about unwanted references and why they are a problem, and we will explore whether and how soft, weak, and phantom references mitigate the problems.

Presentation Format: Lecture with questions and discussions.

Attendee Background: Participants must be familiar with the basic concepts of the Java programming language. Those attendants with a serious interest in high-quality software will get most out of the tutorial.

Angelika Langer is a freelance trainer/consultant working and teaching in the area of object-oriented software development in C++ and Java. She is co-author of the book “Standard C++ IOStreams and Locales” released in January 2000 and co-author of a column in C++ Report since 1997. Her teaching is backed by 12+ years of software development in the IT industry, including 5 years of compiler construction and involvement in C++ library development as well as the standardization of C++. She is currently working on a book about advanced Java programming idioms.

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