In the example below we build on the Reading a zip file from java using ZipInputStream page to provide basic filtering. This filtering is provided by the filteredExpandZipFile method taking a Predicate. Every ZipEntry is passed to the predicate, but only ones that match (predicate returns true) are included.

Note that the size of an entry cannot be accurately determined in all cases, so it is not safe to perform validation on the this field.

In this example I demonstrate how to use ConcurrentMap along with Future to generate a lazy cache. Concurrent maps are a good choice in some situations, where absolute atomicity can be traded off for performance, some level of control over ordering of events has been traded for performance.

Following on from one of our popular articles on Reading a zip file from java using ZipInputStream we've put together a new article on how to create a zip archive using Java. The below example uses ZipOutputStream to create a zip file from all the items in a directory.

Zip files are written slightly differently to a normal stream in that each entry is put into the stream one at a time. So the procedure is as follows:

  1. Create a zip archive using ZipOutputStream
  2. Create a new ZipEntry to represent the file to be added
  3. Write the bytes for the file
  4. Repeat steps 2,3 for each file to be added
  5. Close the archive

This is a question as much as a discussion, I can’t find a lot of detail on the state of play in this area and would really welcome any feedback or corrections. Please don’t read this as a negative article as that is not how it is intended; it’s in the optimisation section but I’m not sure what impact it really has. One thing for sure, for 99% of systems you probably don’t have to worry about what’s going on here at all.

Recently I started to wonder how Garbage collection events in large heaps affect cache performance. Earlier today I read an interesting article on the mechanical sympathy blog (Mechanical Sympathy: CPU flushing article ) about the way processor caches work, and it re-enforced a feeling I’ve had for a while; that old generation GC’s on very large heaps could cause a lot of cache misses because each object in the generation has to be marked and swept. This led to more searches where I dug up this page on stack overflow (Stack Exchange: is GC cache friendly).

Over the years there have been no shortage of ways to format a string in java. What with the + operator, StringBuffer, StringBuilder, String.format(..) and various specialised formatters for numbers and dates we sometimes feel a little spoilt for choice. But how do they all work and what are their advantanges / disadvantages?

There are several ways to format dates in Java, but by far the easiest is to use DateFormat. Creating a DateFormat is very similar to NumberFormat that we saw on the previous page. Here are the static factory methods called directly on the DateFormat class:

Following on from Setting up role based security in tomcat, we now switch from using a memory realm to one backed by a database. Memory realms are great for testing but in any real application is would probably not be acceptable. Normally user credentials are stored in a database, so for this purpose there is a realm based on a datasource.

Depending on your view of things, you will either edit server.xml in the tomcat-home/conf directory, or you will edit the context file for the specific application. There are a few choices here, all of which are explained in the tomcat 7.0 documentation. For the purpose of this article we will edit server.xml.

CountDownLatch provides a means of waiting for a number of asynchronous events before proceeding. In order to do this one constructs a latch providing the event count. Then one thread would normally call await Whilst the other thread calls countDown.  Once the count reaches zero the await call returns and the latch is set. If the call to await happens after the latch is set it returns immediately.

In our example we need to wait for a thread to initialise before proceeding. We achieve this by creating a count down latch with a count of 1. Once the thread has done its work, it calls countDown on the latch. In the mean time the main thread has continued to do its longJob and then called await on the CountDownLatch instance. Calling await blocks until countDown has been called enough times (in this case once).

In this entry I show how to use the inbuilt Java XMLStreamReader PULL parser class to read an XML file. The XML stream libraries are PULL based XML parsers that do not load the whole document into a memory structure, so therefore are more suited to large volumes of XML.

Below is an example XML file for a zoo, it contains Animal data types that have both attributes and data. It is kept simple for the sake of example. To run the example, copy this XML into the ROOT of your classpath.

Following on from Setting up role based security in tomcat we now look at accessing the realm security information from code. Although tomcat takes care of authenticating users at the right time, there are still times when we need to programatically access the credential information. For example the following snippet from userProfile.jsp is a mixed mode page In that anyone can view the page, but some users with manager role see more information.

To do this we use a method on the request object. request.isUserInRole(roleName);.Below is an example of its usage from the userProfile page.


This area of the website discusses JVM optimisation and analysis techniques. This subject tends to trigger quite strong reactions in people, and it's not unusual for there to be many differing opinions on this subject.

My aim is to provide articles that are based on evidence and follow best practice.