# Tuesday, August 31, 2004
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The biggest change in this version is that the JNI implementation is now unified. It's completely rewritten in unsafe C# and a tiny bit of C (thanks to Zoltan Varga for porting the C part to Linux). This allows the same code to be used on the Microsoft CLR and on Mono. Porting the Managed C++ to C# was an interesting exercise. Because of the repetitive nature of many of the JNI functions, I really missed the C macros I used in the Managed C++ implementation, but more importantly I found that unsafe C# tries really hard to get in your way. It tries to prevent you from shooting yourself in the foot, but IMO it doesn't really succeed at that, but it does make it really hard to do clever things if you know what you're doing.

I also found some methods missing in System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal. There is no memcpy, no way to efficiently allocate unmanaged memory (both CoTaskAllocMem and AllocHGlobal offer functionality or guarantees that you often don't need) and there is no way to turn a delegate into an unmanaged method pointer. I had to add the following C method to convert the delegate an unmanaged method pointer:

JNIEXPORT void* JNICALL ikvm_MarshalDelegate(void* p)
    return p;

This looks like a no-op, but the P/Invoke marshaler converts the delegate to a pointer to an unmanaged thunk. Unfortunately this functionality is not exposed as a managed API.

Here's what else is new:

  • New unified JNI implementation written mostly in (unsafe) C#. The same JNI implementation now works on Mono and the Microsoft CLR and there is only a tiny bit of platform specific C code (no more Managed C++).
  • Statically compiled code that uses JNI is now portable between different platforms (obviously only if the native library is available on those platforms).
  • Implemented more JNI functionality.
  • Synchronized with GNU Classpath cvs.
  • Fixed Runtime.totalMemory() to return more than Runtime.freeMemory(). Note that the value is still pretty meaningless.
  • Added more validation to BigEndianBinaryReader to better detect invalid class files.
  • Changed ByteCode, NormalizedByteCode and ByteCodeMode enums to be byte based, for efficiency.
  • Separated wide "addressing" modes into ByteCodeModeWide to make the code simpler.
  • Added ByteCodeFlags enum to encode bytecode properties in ByteCodeMetaData.
  • Fixed ByteCodeMetaData encoding for the [ailfd]load/[ailfd]store instructions to support the wide encodings.
  • Made class file parsing eager, to prevent depending on the passed in byte array after ClassLoader.defineClass() returns.
  • Made class file parsing robust against class loaders that to attact the VM by modifying the class file byte array, while it is being parsed.
  • Made many Optimizations to class file parsing.
  • Added more validation to class file parsing.
  • Fixed class file parsing to throw a ClassFormatError when a class loader is trying to redefine java.lang.Object.
  • Implemented class loader namespace support for native libraries.
  • Fixed FieldWrapper.Link() to rethrow exception if linking fails (instead of silently swallowing it).
  • Made the __ static initialization trigger field protected instead of public.
  • Use a more efficient CIL sequence for instanceof instruction.
  • Fixed stupid bug in Double/Float.parse(). It used the local sensitive version of System.Double.Parse().
  • Fixed java.io.System.setErr().

New snapshots: just the binaries and source plus binaries.

Update: I forgot to thank Zoltan Varga for porting the platform specific part of the new JNI implementation to Linux.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 1:55:43 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
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