# Wednesday, August 28, 2002
No Title

Added support for delegates to netexp and the VM. This enabled me to rewrite the thread startup in Java, here is a fragment from Thread.start():

ThreadStart starter = new ThreadStart(
  new ThreadStart.Method() {
    public void Invoke() {
      try {
        try {
          Thread.SetData(localSlot, Thread.this);
        } catch(Throwable t) {
          if(group != null) {
            group.uncaughtException(Thread.this, t);
      } finally {
        if(group != null) {
nativeThread = new Thread(starter);

The delegate appears to Java code as regular class with an inner interface named Method. The inner interface has one method named Invoke, with the signature of the delegate, and the delegate class appears to have a constructor taking a reference to the inner interface. What's nice about this scheme is that on the VM side, it is really trivial to support this. The only thing that is done, is whenever a delegate is constructed, two CIL instructions (dup & ldvirtftn) get inserted into the code stream. The Java bytecode:

  new java/lang/Thread$1 
  invokespecial Thread$1/<init>(Ljava/lang/Thread;)V> 
  invokespecial ThreadStart/<init>(LThreadStart$Method;)V>

Is compiled into:

  newobj  void Thread$1::.ctor(class java.lang.Thread)
  ldvirtftn  void ThreadStart$Method::Invoke()
  newobj  void ThreadStart::.ctor(object, native int)

So the delegate is constructed referencing the object implementing the interface.

(disclaimer: code fragments have been editted for readability, some assembly may be required)

Updated the binaries and source snaphots.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002 4:57:52 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Sunday, August 25, 2002
No Title

Stuart commented:

Seems like building got a little more complicated (I don't seem to pick up your build options from your .sln file, and while before it was just a matter of turning on the unsafe option, it seems I need to do more than that now, like add some references, and I can't figure out which ones). I don't have enough time to do any serious investigation.

That might be because of zlib.dll reference. I moved that into the project directory, so the relative path should be correct now.

I'd love to play with ikvmc and netexp, though - any chance of including them in ikvmbin.zip?


Updated the binaries and source snaphots.

Sunday, August 25, 2002 11:53:49 AM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 22, 2002
No Title

Stuart commented:

You can also optimize the test away (in the other direction) if it's known at compile time that the object *is* a string. Or is that unnecessary since String provides its own GetHashCode implementation that will be invokespecialed already since it's a final class (or whatever the CLR equivalent of final is)?

When you compile the Java code "foo".hashCode() it will be compiled as an invokevirtual java/lang/String/hashCode()I. When IK.VM.NET tries to compile this, it looks up the hashCode() method on String and finds that it should redirect to the static StringHelper.hashCode() method. So that's automatic. It is possible to create bytecode that does an invokevirtual java/lang/Object/hashCode() on a string reference, but Java compilers won't do this, so this is hardly worth optimizing.

Thursday, August 22, 2002 12:49:57 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Wednesday, August 21, 2002
No Title

I changed java.lang.Class from being remapped to System.Type to its Java implementation.

Integrated some additional native code implementations from Stuart Ballard. Thanks Stuart!

Updated the binaries and source snaphots.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002 10:22:17 AM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, August 19, 2002
No Title
I changed the XML remapping language to support Object.hashCode() & Object.toString() twiddling (see this previous posting for more info). It is now possible to specify which CIL code sequence should be substituted for a call to a method. Here is how Object.hashCode() looks:

<method type="instance" name="hashCode" sig="()I" access="public">
<override name="GetHashCode" />
<call class="System.Object name="GetHashCode" />
<dup />
<isinst class="System.String" />
<brfalse name="skip" />
<call class="StringHelper" name="hashCode" />
<br name="end" />
<label name="skip" />
<callvirt class="System.Object name="GetHashCode" />
<label name="end" />

Every virtual call (the invokevirtual bytecode) is converted into a test to see if the call is being done on a string, if so it calls StringHelper.hashCode(), if not, it calls System.Object.GetHashCode(). This isn't yet how it should be, because when it is known at compile time that the reference that hashCode() is called on isn't a string, then this test shouldn't be emitted. I still have to figure out a way to support this optimization.

Updated the binaries and source snaphots.

Monday, August 19, 2002 2:53:35 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Friday, August 16, 2002
No Title

I reimplemented java.io.FileDescriptor to directly use System.IO.Stream (compiling against the netexp generated mscorlib.jar). This approach seems workable. As an example of how this turns out, here is the FileDescriptor.sync() code:

 public synchronized void sync() throws SyncFailedException
  if(stream == null)
   throw new SyncFailedException("The handle is invalid");
   if(false) throw new system.io.IOException();
  catch(system.io.IOException x)
   throw new SyncFailedException(x.get_Message());

I decided (for the moment) to not have every .NET method throw Throwable, but used the if(false) throw new ... trick. Works quite well, and it doesn't generate any code. I wonder if it would be legal for the compiler to move the stream.Flush() out of the try block... Not that I think any compiler would do this.

Updated the binaries and source snapshots.

Friday, August 16, 2002 3:20:30 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 15, 2002
No Title

Nothing spectacular, many small changes (clean up, refactoring, bug fixes, enhancements).

Updated the binaries and source snapshots.

Thursday, August 15, 2002 6:34:28 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Monday, August 12, 2002
No Title

I started on the ahead-of-time-compiler again, with the goal of precompiling the classpath classes. I've created a zip containing all the binaries needed. Just unzip the file, make sure the directory is in the path and run a Java class:
ikvm <class>

It uses the CLASSPATH environment variable (instead of the earlier IKVM_CLASSPATH), and if that is not set, it assumes the current directory. Zips and jars are not yet supported.

The classpath.dll (from the binaries zip) can also be used from (for example) a C# program (don't forget to add a reference to classpath.dll & ik.vm.net.dll):

class JTest
public static void Main()
java.util.Hashtable h = new java.util.Hashtable();
h.put("foo", "bar");
h.put("fu", "baz");
Updated the source snapshot.
Monday, August 12, 2002 4:41:14 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, August 9, 2002
No Title

I did some refactoring and various small changes. Field & method accessibilty is now enforced (although there still are some issues).

Updated the snapshot.

Friday, August 9, 2002 4:11:29 PM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 8, 2002
No Title

Stuart commented:

What do you do if you have a Java program that depends on String.hashCode() doing exactly what Java defines it to do (ie, produce consistent output with other VMs) rather than what .NET defines String.GetHashCode() to do? I encountered this in my own code so in theory I can implement (or steal from ClassPath) an implementation of String.hashCode() and use that, but the problem could come up in other scenarios. It's an interesting one, don't you think? :)

I haven't gotten around to implementing it, but the idea is that all virtual calls to Object.toString() are changed to:

  if(o instanceof String) return StringHelper.hashCode(o);
  else return Object.GetHashCode();

One reason I haven't done this yet, is because I think it is totally brain damaged that Sun actually specified the hashcode algorithm for String (and in JLS 1.0 they specified a broken algorithm, which JDK 1.0 didn't implement), another reason is that I haven't figured out how to build this generically (specified in the map.xml file, instead of hardcoded in the VM).

A similar issue also occurs with Object.toString(). Nonvirtual calls to Object.toString() should be redirected to a helper function that returns:

  getClass().getName() + "@" + Integer.toHexString(hashCode())

This isn't really a problem (if you accept the fact that non-Java classes return something different for toString(), which I do), but for arrays it does pose a problem. For arrays to return the proper string when toString() is called on them (virtually through an object reference), all virtual calls to Object.toString() need to be treated like hashCode() above.

btw, how come your example isn't "import System.Reflection"? Does netexp auto-lowercase all namespace names?

At the moment it does. Not because this is the Java convention, but because Java cannot really deal with a namespace System (because of the class java.lang.System).

That seems risky if (as I believe, but don't know for sure) it's possible to have two distinct .NET namespaces with names differing only by case...

This is true, but in practice it seems unlikely you'll ever encounter a problem with this, but the case conversion will definitely be optional in the future.

Thursday, August 8, 2002 10:13:57 AM (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]