Tuesday, May 15, 2012

5' on IT-Architecture: three laws of good software architecture

The issue with architectural decisions is that they effect the whole system and/or you often need to make them early in the development process. It means a lot effort if you change that decision a couple of months later. From an economic standpoint architectural decisions are often irrevocable. Good architecture is one that allows an architect to make late decisions without superior effect on efforts and costs. Let's put that on record.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Java 7: NIO.2 I/O operations on asynchronous channels are not atomic

This part of my NIO.2 series wasn't on schedule when I started writing about NIO.2 aasynchronous file channels. It deals with an important detail: read and write operations are not atomic. What that means is that AsynchronousFileChannel -> write() does not garantee to write all bytes passed as parameter to the destination file. Instead it returns the number of bytes written as return parameters of the corresponding I/O operations and the client needs to deal with situations where the bytes written isn't equal to the remaining bytes in the passed ByteBuffer.

Java 7: Closing NIO.2 file channels without loosing data

Closing an asynchronous file channel can be very difficult. If you submitted I/O tasks to the asynchronous channel you want to be sure that the tasks are executed properly. This can actually be a tricky requirement on asynchronous channels for several reasons. The default channel group uses deamon threads as worker threads, which isn't a good choice, cause these threads just abandon if the JVM exits. If you use a custom thread pool executor with non-deamon threads (see last part of this series) you need to manage the lifecycle of your thread pool yourself. If you don't the threads just stay alive when the main thread exits. Hence, the JVM actually does not exit at all, what you can do is kill the JVM.