Blog from August, 2009

Jikes RVM Project Changes

Dear Jikes RVM Researchers,

We are writing to introduce two new members to the Jikes RVM Steering Committee, announce some changes to the project organization, and highlight our performance results, which are now competitive with the products on the DaCapo Benchmarks.

Steering Committee

We have invited Richard Jones (U. Kent) and Kathryn McKinley (U. Texas) to join us on the Steering Committee. Both Kathryn and Richard have accepted our invitation. Kathryn and Richard been involved with the project since its inception. They both have a long track record of engagement with the project; directly and through the activities of their respective research groups. Their addition to the committee reflects our view that our stakeholders are researchers and that our mission is enabling research.

Project Organization

We have also made a minor change to the project structure, replacing the term "Core Team" with "Jikes RVM Team". We also extend team membership to anyone who has demonstrated a substantial commitment to the project through concrete contributions. Such contributions are not limited to code, but may include substantive contributions to the health of the project in any form. These changes are intended to emphasize the importance of researchers as the primary stakeholders in this project, and to make it explicit that the importance of a member's input is not measured in terms of the quantity or quality of changes to the code base.

We will also now encourage team members to follow a "12 month rule", whereby they are asked to reassess their team membership after a period of 12 months of inactivity

Performance

Due to the efforts of the Jikes RVM Team in adding features (such as native threads, Immix GC, and biased locking), and tuning the adaptive system, we have recently achieved really excellent performance results. While Jikes RVM still lags behind the products on the SPEC benchmarks (the products are highly tuned for SPEC), Jikes RVM attains within 5% of their performance on the DaCapo Benchmarks. Results are available here: http://jikesrvm.anu.edu.au/performance/2009-07/

These performance gains make Jikes RVM an even more appealing research platform and offer more evidence that Java can be an effective system implementation language. (smile)

We hope that these changes will bring new life to the project and re-affirm the project's original objectives of supporting the research community. Kathryn, Richard and the rest of the Jikes RVM Steering Committee welcome comments, suggestions and feedback from our community.

David Grove
Steve Blackburn
Mike Hind