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developerWorks: Create Native, Cross-platform GUI Applications

Apr 23, 2002, 08:30 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kirk Vogen)

[ Thanks to Maria for this link. ]

"We all know that the Java language has been extremely successful on the server and in the applet arena, but why hasn't it made as big of a splash in the end-user applications arena? There are several reasons. First, the memory footprint of even small applications often consists of megabytes and megabytes of memory. Second, the GUI libraries provided with the Java language result in applications that often look different than their native counterparts. So, no matter how robust or stable your application is, it stands out as looking awkward and clumsy to native applications.

"Let's start with the issue of memory footprint. Java applications use additional memory because the virtual machine has to do lots of "stuff" when running Java bytecodes. In today's advanced compilers, compilation occurs just-in-time and the compiler must cache this information on-the-fly for later use. Sure, memory's cheap these days, but with several Java applications running on a machine, even a big machine can be slowed down by constant memory paging. Enter the GNU Compiler for Java (GCJ). GCJ takes Java source or byte codes and compiles them into native machine code. Machine code from several Java classes can then be linked together into a single native application..."

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