Mystery of Java applications blocking Windows XP applications

Discussion in 'Java' started by Wolfgang, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Guest

    When working on Windows XP systems (latest XP patches/updates
    installed), I regularly experience a blocking of Windows applications
    that persists until I shut down one or more of my running Java
    applications. I'm using j2sdk1.4.1_01.

    For example, while running Tomcat and jEdit, I start up FrameMaker (a
    Windows application), but FrameMaker won't start up (no error
    message). Then, after shutting down one or the other, or both, Java
    applications (Tomcat, jEdit), the Windows application (FrameMaker in
    this case) starts up and runs normally. Similar things happen with
    other applications, both Java and Windows.

    The details of this phenomenon seem to be unpredictable in that I
    can't tell what applications are blocking or blocked, and under what
    circumstances. But some blocking of this kind almost always happens
    to me.

    Any idea of what's going on here?

    Wolfgang, Feb 15, 2004
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  2. I think your first sentence that mentions
    4 seperate MS keywords is a hint.

    Try it on Linux.
    Andrew Thompson, Feb 15, 2004
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  3. Wolfgang

    Jean Lutrin Guest

    When working on Windows XP systems (latest XP patches/updates
    Hi to both of you and all the other cljp'ers,

    altough a bit rude, the suggestion to use Linux is definitely sound.

    If properly patched/configured, a Windows XP system is not suppose
    to lockup for no reason so there may be a more simple solution to
    your problem than simply "switch to Linux".

    However, I want to add here that I have the exact same configuration
    as one of another programmer in a company I do some contracting for.
    The machines are both : Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz, 512 Mb Ram.

    I use Linux (Red Hat 9 with latest Fedora kernel... which, amongst
    other, solves some lockups problems that vanilla Red Hat 9 users
    experience on some configurations).

    The other developper uses Windows XP.

    We both develop using IntelliJ IDEA 3.0 / JDK 1.4.1_02.

    My machine "flies" compared to the one running Windows XP.

    I have constantly Mozilla opened with several tabs, Sylpheed (email)
    with 5000+ emails in my "inboxes" (!), Tomcat (running a development
    e-commerce website, not the "production" one), pan (to read the

    Sometimes I "xhost" a second IntelliJ IDEA session that I redisplay
    to another developer's X Window System (an old slow Pentium 2).

    Even with this setup, the Linux machine, believe it or not, is way
    faster than the Windows XP one running only IntelliJ IDEA.

    By having the two machines nearly side by side, I can also tell
    that Linux does "swap" to the harddisk much much less... I can
    hardly hear the harddisk working while the Windows XP machine's
    harddisk is swapping like mad.

    The only application so far that really slows my P4 to a crawl is,
    don't laugh, VMWare : as soon as I launch Windows 2000 in VMWare,
    my Linux system starts to slow (some things never change ;)

    By the way the developer is considering switching to Linux now (he
    made me switch from Eclipse to IntelliJ IDEA, now I'll make him
    switch to Linux!).

    So if you need to do Java development and need access to the Internet,
    I think there's no match : a well configured Linux system (with, for
    example, good rules for the stateful firewall) is simply more stable,
    more secure and way more efficient than any OS flavor that comes
    from Microsoft.

    Now I don't say Linux is the panacea. There can be a *lot* of tweaking
    involved : I *had* lockups under Linux (fixed with latest kernel
    from Fedora), I had problems configurating my X server to run
    at 1600x1200, I had problems configurating fonts, I prevented Nautilus
    (the "file navigator" but it's much more than that) from loading
    at startup (I rarely use it, and it's one of the most bloated Linux
    application : powerful, but bloated).

    But still, for me, there simply is no match.

    I hardly ever reboot, let alone turn this computer off.
    (But I do unplug the ethernet cable when I leave the
    computer - who knows ;)

    Development under both Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEA feels
    much snapier under Linux.

    I think though that Swing is slower under Linux than under Windows,
    but the overall OS is so much faster that it more than compensate
    for Swing being kind of slow under Linux.

    I am not a "Linux zealot", nor an Open Source / Gnu purist : I do
    closed source development, I do use commercial software (IntelliJ
    IDEA, VMWare), I do like MacOS X a lot too.

    But when it comes to comparing OS's features, for me Windows XP is
    an underperforming piece of junk :(

    If I really have to work with Windows, I use Windows 2000 which
    is IMHO much less bloated than XP.

    I do realize that Linux can take a lot of time to learn for
    people used to Windows but I think it is worth it.

    No more spyware, no more adware, no more unwanted popups, no more
    printer printing an ad when connecting to some site (last Windows 2000
    installation I did, after less than five minutes of surfing, my
    printer printed a f***ing ad, how is this possible !? I am pretty
    sure that the machine was patched with SP4 as the first thing I
    do when installing Windows is patching the damn thing), no more
    virus, no more trojan (granted you don't do everything as root
    and you don't let every unnecessary service/port wide open), no
    more unexplainable application crash, no more "exploit widely
    known and exploited but won't be fixed before six months", no more
    "critical security patch" to install all the time (my machine act
    as a client only, not a single service is accessible from the Internet,
    Tomcat is only available from our LAN, ...).

    Still, most Java programmer use Windows and know only Windows.

    Lots of Linux users are 100 % Open Source / Gnu / GPL / whatever
    and hence hate Java as much as Windows.

    I belong to this minority of people who
    think "Linux + Java = killer combo".

    This equation can also be seen as "Secure OS + secure language = killer combo".

    I also don't understand what's the point in developing a "secure app/webapp"
    and then deploying it on a notably insecure platform...

    Bah, just my .02 Euro rant,

    Jean Lutrin, Feb 15, 2004
  4. Wolfgang

    Tim Ward Guest

    Dunno about XP, but under other Windows versions when an application starts
    a message (forget which one, sorry) is broadcast round all other running
    applications. The other running applications don't have to reply anything
    interesting to this message if they don't want to, but they *do* have to
    have a message pump running so that at the very least the default window
    procedure will send a null reply, otherwise the application that is starting
    up hangs waiting for the reply.

    So it is possible to write an ill-behaved application which doesn't run a
    message pump in its main GUI thread - just hang the main thread waiting for
    something that is never going to happen, for example. It will then be
    difficult to start further applications. It is possible to write such an
    ill-behaved application in any language, you don't have to do it in Java.

    My favourite is Quicken, which is in this state when it's backing up to
    floppy disk, so other applications won't finish starting up until the disk
    write is complete.

    Solution: learn how to write Windows programs properly.
    Tim Ward, Feb 16, 2004
  5. Jean Lutrin wrote:
    I happen to think the same, but that I am disappointed with Swing's font
    handling. As far as I can tell, you have to explicitly subclass and
    override Swing components in order to enable anti-aliasing, and even
    having done that you don't seem to have access to the full range of
    fonts the machine has to offer. It just looks awful. It's so '90s.

    Steve Horsley, Feb 18, 2004

  6. How much memory does the computer have and how much is left for FrameMaker to use when Tomcat and
    jEdit are running?

    Version: 3.12
    GCS d++ s+:- a+ C+ UL++++ P+ L+ E- W+ N++ o- K++ w+ O+ M !V PS+ PE Y+ PGP t+ !5 X- R- tv--- b++
    DI++ D+ G++ e++ h---- r+++ y+++
    ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
    Tris Orendorff, Feb 19, 2004
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