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From Mike French <>
Subject memory use & performance
Date Thu, 29 Jan 2004 11:09:24 GMT

I have some comments and suggestions about memory use (leaks)
and performance in version 1.5.3-1. 
The main focus of my attention was <antcall> tasks.

I see about 2Mb allocated per antcall, independent of any actual 
work performed. I traced this to through the <antcall> target 
(CallTarget class) creating an <ant> task (Ant class),
which builds a large project structure, containing many
cross-references between Project, Tasks and Targets.
The main culprits are:
  - Project keeping a list of createdTasks
    (I just commented this out as a test!)
  - Ant task internal project keeping properties 
    and other tasks containing references back to the project

I see some attempt in Ant::execute to free up the memory
in a finally clause:

  Enumeration enum = properties.elements();
  while (enum.hasMoreElements()) {
    Property p = (Property) enum.nextElement();

I found that freeing other references helped too:


  enum = newProject.getTargets().elements();
  while (enum.hasMoreElements()) {
    Target t = (Target) enum.nextElement();

Similar back linked structures seem to be created
for every target invocation, e.g. Calltarget::execute.
I would suggest a 'clear()' method on all these objects
to free up all held references, which could be used to 
help the garbage collector break circular dependencies,
and perhaps use of WeakHashMap in place of Hashtables.

I also noticed performance for n-target build.xml
degrading as n^2, which soon gets a little out of control.
I again traced this through the <antcall> target 
(CallTarget class) creating an <ant> task (Ant class) 
which in turn calls ProjectHelper.configureProject,
which re-parses the whole of the build.xml and
recreates a huge new project structure every time !
It seems unfortunate that the whole build.xml has to be 
replayed for each and every local <antcall> invocation.
Again the underlying issue is that <antcall> uses <ant>,
I suggest antcall should use the enclosing project by reference.

Apologies if all these issues have been fixed in 1.6 !
I haven't had a chance to migrate yet.


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