# Monday, 15 October 2007
Mono Summit 2007

I'll be at the Mono Summit 2007.

Monday, 15 October 2007 11:59:24 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, 12 October 2007
IKVM 0.36 rc5

Yet another release candidate and possibly not even the last one (more on that next week).


  • Fixed reflection regression introduced in rc4.
  • Added workaround for .NET 3.5 beta breaking change.
  • Added support for another binary compatibility issue (public classes nested in non-public classes).
  • Added workaround for another .NET 2.0 x64 JIT bug.

Binaries available here: ikvmbin-

Sources (+ binaries): ikvm-

External sources (haven't changed since rc1): classpath-0.95-stripped.zip, openjdk-b13-stripped.zip

Friday, 12 October 2007 18:28:39 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [3]
# Monday, 01 October 2007
IKVM 0.36 rc4

External forces inspired me (read: I was paid) to make another release candidate.

Reflection on .NET is very slow compared with Java and because IKVM reflection was built on top of .NET reflection, it too was very slow. I rewrote the lower levels of reflection to take advantage of DynamicMethod when running .NET 2.0. This allows the slow .NET reflection to be bypassed and optimized accessor methods to be generated dynamically. I also rewrote the part of serialization that uses reflection to get and set the field values to generate custom dynamic methods for the serialization process. Serialization is now up to 20x faster.

Unfortunately I had to disable the use of DynamicMethod when running on Mono, because testing revealed that Mono 1.2.5's implementation of DynamicMethod is still too buggy.

A remaining caveat wrt reflection performance is that you need to call setAccessible(true) to get the best performance when running on IKVM, because stack walking (which is needed to do the required access checks when you access a non-public member) is still very slow compared with Java.


  • Improved serialization and reflection performance when running on .NET 2.0.

Binaries available here: ikvmbin-

Sources (+ binaries): ikvm-

External sources (haven't changed since rc1): classpath-0.95-stripped.zip, openjdk-b13-stripped.zip

Monday, 01 October 2007 15:31:54 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Thursday, 20 September 2007
IKVM 0.36 rc3

This is probably the last release candiate before the official 0.36 release.


  • Fixed non-blocking nio socket send of zero bytes to not return -1.
  • Fixed nio Selector.wakeup() race condition.
  • Added checks for code that uses reflection to call ClassLoader.defineClass() on the assembly class loader for ikvmc compiled classes to throw IllegalAccessError when the class tries to extend a non-public base class (instead of dying with a Critical Failure).
  • Fixed bug in the handling of Java annotations applied in .NET code (via the corresponding ikvmc generated attributes).
  • Significantly improved performance of Class.getModifiers().

Binaries available here: ikvmbin-

Sources (+ binaries): ikvm-

External sources (haven't changed since rc1): classpath-0.95-stripped.zip, openjdk-b13-stripped.zip

Thursday, 20 September 2007 15:55:12 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, 17 September 2007
Two Useful Tools for IKVM.NET


Brian Heineman wrote a doclet to convert Javadoc into .NET XML documentation that can be consumed by .NET tools like Visual Studio. This makes the type and member documentation available in the Visual Studio IntelliSense popups. Very nice! There's still room for improvement, especially in the area of converting broken html tags into well formed xml tags. The code is available cvs. I've used it to generate an xml documentation file for IKVM.OpenJDK.ClassLibrary.dll and that can be downloaded here.

In future IKVM releases I plan to include an ikvmc compiled version of IKVMDoc.


Gena Donchyts wrote a handy tool that analyzes a bunch of jars and generates a script to ikvmc compile these jars in the right order and with the required (static) dependencies. The tool and documentation are available here.


Thanks to Brian and Gena for providing these great tools!

Monday, 17 September 2007 08:18:25 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, 13 September 2007
IKVM 0.36 rc2

Release candidate 2.


  • Fixed annotation handling to use Enum.valueOf() instead of reflection, to prevent IllegalAccessException when accessing non-public enum.
  • Bootstrap packages are no longer sealed.
  • Packages for ikvmc compiled code are no longer sealed automatically (only when they are sealed in the manifest).
  • Implemented support for enabling/disabling assertions in ikvm.exe.
  • Fixed ikvmstub exception when the resulting jar is empty.
  • Added support for creating proxies for non-public interfaces in ikvmc compiled assemblies.
  • Made method annotation resolution lazy, to deal with annotations that annotate themselves.
  • Fixed bug in finalize method handling that could cause compiler error if base class explicitly called finalize method in derived class.
  • Improved JLS binary compatibility support.
  • Fixed implicit conversion from System.Type to java.lang.Class to return null instead of throwing a NullReferenceException for unrepresentable types.

Binaries available here: ikvmbin-

Sources (+ binaries): ikvm-

External sources (haven't changed since rc1): classpath-0.95-stripped.zip, openjdk-b13-stripped.zip

Thursday, 13 September 2007 11:53:26 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Monday, 03 September 2007
IKVM 0.36 rc1

Release candidate 1 of the first OpenJDK based release.

Compared with the last snapshot I made one small change, I implemented the new 1.6 JNI method.

Binaries available here: ikvmbin-

Sources: ikvm-, classpath-0.95-stripped.zip, openjdk-b13-stripped.zip

If you want to build from source, you need the classpath and openjdk zips as well. The classpath-0.95-stripped.zip file contains the required AWT/Swing sources (from a patched version of GNU Classpath 0.95). The openjdk-b13-stripped.zip contains the required sources and the required generated sources (from running an OpenJDK build on Linux). These two zips need to be unzipped in the same directory as where you unzip ikvm- I've tested the build on Windows with .NET 1.1, .NET 2.0 and Mono 1.2.3 and on Linux with Mono 1.2.5.

Monday, 03 September 2007 09:54:34 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, 29 August 2007
New Snapshot

One more snapshot before release candidate 1 with a couple of fixes:

  • Windows x64 specific binaries are now included (in the ikvm\bin-x64 directory).
  • Enabled workaround for x64 tail call optimization.
  • Implemented clearing of SoftReferences. They're still not guaranteed to be cleared before an OutOfMemoryError, but the new behavior is hopefully more reasonable than never clearing them.
  • Fixed code generator bug that could cause AbstractMethodError to be thrown when subclassing a .NET type that has an explicit interface method implementation.
  • Integrated IcedTea updates to support PBEwithMD5andDES.

Binaries available here: ikvmbin-openjdk-0.35.2796.zip.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007 08:26:12 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Tuesday, 28 August 2007
MS07-045 bug

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for some Microsoft idiocy. If you have a classic ASP website that instantiates .NET classes via COM interop that suddenly stopped working after installing MS07-045 and you're now getting the dreaded 0x8000FFFF Catastrophic failure aka E_UNEXPECTED, you can fix that by allowing Everyone Read access to HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-20\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones or by running MS07-045-patch (.NET 2.0 required) to make the registry permission changes for you (you need admin rights to make the changes or run the executable).

Tuesday, 28 August 2007 11:38:35 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Friday, 24 August 2007
First OpenJDK Snapshot

Several things conspired to make me realise that it would be a good idea to make an official release based on OpenJDK. While it is technically still a hybrid with GNU Classpath (it uses the AWT / Swing implementation from GNU Classpath 0.95), I don't consider this a big problem due to the fact that AWT support in OpenJDK itself still has holes in it as well (due to the "encumbrances") and the fact that IKVM never officially supported AWT / Swing (and still doesn't). This snapshot has been well tested and the disclaimers no longer apply. Please download it, play with it and report any issues you find (either here in the comments, on the mailing list or to me directly). I will hopefully release the first 0.36 release candidate at the end of next week.

In the past I was never able to give a list of the areas of GNU Classpath that worked or not, because I simply was't familiar enough with the large code base to know which parts were of good quality / compatibility and which weren't. With OpenJDK I can at least say where IKVM diverges from the OpenJDK code. So I've made a list of packages / classes that are not fully implemented or not supported.

com.sun.security.auth.module        Not implemented.
java.applet GNU Classpath implementation. Not supported.
java.awt GNU Classpath implementation. Not supported.
java.io.Console Not implemented.
java.lang.instrument Not implemented.
java.lang.management Not implemented.
java.lang.ref.SoftReference Soft references are never cleared.
java.lang.SecurityManager Deprecated methods not implemented:
classDepth(String), inClass(String), classLoaderDepth(), currentLoadedClass(), currentClassLoader(), inClassLoader()
java.net No IPv6 support implemented.
java.net.ProxySelector Getting the default system proxy for a URL is not implemented.
java.security Not supported.
java.text.Bidi GNU Classpath implementation. Not supported.
java.util.zip Partially based on GNU Classpath implementation.
javax.crypto IcedTea implementation. Not supported.
javax.imageio.plugins.jpeg Not implemented.
javax.management Not implemented.
javax.print Not implemented.
javax.script Not implemented.
javax.security Not supported.
javax.smartcardio Not implemented.
javax.sound Not implemented.
javax.swing GNU Classpath implementation. Not supported.
javax.tools Not implemented.
org.ietfs.jgss Not implemented.
sun.jdbc.odbc Not implemented.
sun.net.www.content.audio Audio content handlers not implemented.
sun.net.www.content.image Image content handlers not implemented.

The entire public API is available, so "Not implemented." for javax.print, for example, means that the API is there but there is no backend to provide the actual printing support. "Not supported." means that the code is there and probably works at least somewhat, but that I'm less likely to fix bugs reported in these areas.

In addition to the issues listed above, the extended charset providers are not included (the ones in charsets.jar in the JRE) and enabling assertions is not implemented.

This snapshot is still based on OpenJDK B13, because the closer to 1.6 the better in my opinion. After the 0.36 release, I will start tracking the OpenJDK development version more closely, but I plan on supporting 0.36 for a relatively long time (even after 0.38 and subsequent IKVM releases).

I've updated the Japi results. The scores are obviously very high now, but there are still some differences. Some differences are due to OpenJDK B13 already containing some new 1.7 APIs, some differences are in the AWT / Swing GNU Classpath code and some are Japi bugs (e.g. the java.util.concurrent differences).


  • Renamed IKVM.Hybrid.GNU.Classpath.OpenJDK.dll to IKVM.OpenJDK.ClassLibrary.dll and made OpenJDK build the default.
  • Fixed thread creation to use AccessController.doPrivileged() to get ikvm.apartmentstate system property.
  • Fixed AccessController.getStackAccessControlContext() to use "native" method as marker on the stack for privileged operation (because the native method stub may get inlined away).
  • Added default security policy file to VFS.
  • Integrated OpenJDK java.beans package. Included OpenJDK sun.io package. Included OpenJDK sunw packages (for JDK 1.0 compatibility).
  • Don't create TypeWrapper instances for HideFromJava types.
  • Added rmi skeleton classes.
  • Integrated OpenJDK java.nio package.
  • Changed ikvmres protocol handler to be compatible with both GNU Classpath and OpenJDK url parse exception throwing convention.
  • Switched GNU Classpath AWT/Swing back to version 0.95.
  • Copied GNU Classpath version of java.text.Bidi into openjdk directory.
  • Copied and integrated GNU Classpath's pure Java zip support with OpenJDK zip classes.
  • Added GNU Classpath 0.95 compatible versions of awt\font.cs and awt\toolkit.cs.
  • Refactored system properties initialization.
  • Changed ikvm.exe class library version printing to report both GNU Classpath and OpenJDK versions.
  • Added HideFromJava to AnnotationAttribute type member that can potentially use HideFromJava types.
  • Implemented Thread.dumpThreads() and Thread.getThreads().
  • Added a couple more fake native libraries to VFS.
  • Implemented Thread.WaitUntilLastJniThread() (used by JNI method DestroyJavaVM() to wait for all non-daemon threads to end).
  • Implemented Inet4Address.isReachable().
  • Implemented path canonicalization.
  • Create java.lang.ProcessImpl streams via FileDescriptor instead of going through FileChannelImpl.
  • Added support for StructLayoutAttribute annotations.
  • New FileChannelImpl implementation based on OpenJDK.
  • Added map.xml workaround for java.net.DatagramSocket.receive() bug.
  • Implemented DatagramSocketImpl.peek() and peekData().
  • Don't add KeepAlive to constructors of objects that don't have finalizers and extend cli.System.Object.
  • Implemented sun.net.dns.ResolverConfigurationImpl "native" methods.
  • Added map.xml workaround for OpenJDK java.beans.XMLDecoder bug.
  • Fixed sun.nio.ch.DotNetSelectorImpl to make "infinite" blocking select block for Integer.MAX_VALUE instead of returning right away.
  • Fixed sun.nio.ch.Net.writeImpl() to return IOStatus.UNAVAILABLE if the socket is in non-blocking mode and the write failed because of this.
  • Added workaround for .NET 1.1 Directory.Delete() bug.
  • Updated all Java versions to 1.6.

Binaries available here: ikvmbin-openjdk-0.35.2791.zip.

Friday, 24 August 2007 09:42:45 (W. Europe Daylight Time, UTC+02:00)  #    Comments [1]