Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Year of jSuneido Development

Just over a year ago I was trying to make the C++ implementation of Suneido multi-threaded.

I started to wonder if this was the right approach, and whether I might be better off leveraging an existing VM and dreamed up jSuneido

So for the last year I've been working on porting Suneido to Java. I think it's going pretty well, although I wish it would go faster.

jSuneido is currently about 22,000 lines of code. (About 5000 of those are tests.) I've been working on it an average of 3 days a week for a year - that's about 150 days, or about 150 lines per day.

About six weeks after I started I was doing about 100 lines per day. That was calendar days rather than working days, but for the first burst of enthusiasm I worked on it most days.

I also guessed jSuneido might be about 30,000 lines of code. Given the current size and what's left to do, that probably isn't too far off. Another 8000 lines at 150 lines per day is about 50 days, at 3 days per week, that's about 17 weeks or roughly 4 months.

If you'd told me at the start it was going to take me 16 months I would have been either skeptical or depressed or some combination. But where I stand now, 4 more months doesn't seem too bad. It almost feels like maybe I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course, that's a really crude estimate and it could be way off. Some of the things I've got left to do could take a lot longer. Tracking down obscure bugs could take indefinite amounts of time. And with concurrency issues looming, obscure bugs could be the order of the day.

I'm not much of a believer in software project estimating. But it's fun to play with the numbers, especially since there's no one to hassle me if they're wrong.

I'm still pretty comfortable that this was the right way to go. Maybe I could have got some multi-threading going in the C++ version in less time. But I still would have been stuck with an aging non-portable implementation with issues like poor garbage collection.

In some ways this qualified as rewriting from scratch, seldom a good idea. But because it has to run all the same Suneido code and interoperate with the existing version, it's more of a port than a rewrite. I obviously had to redesign some of the internals to work with Java and the JVM, but hopefully I've retained most of the accumulated wisdom of the existing implementation.

1 comment:

falken said...

sure enormous work and sure best approach to go to managed code, so I wish you finall success :-) - as you wrote about GUI part as another big issue - why simply not to mimic original winapi windowing engine in java too, there may I see only licensing issues....?, or could you separate things so much to use it native in Win and through Wine elsewhere. But by ssing Xaml you cannot be too far from suneido declarative gui too. Anyway, I would like to see some news about this on suneido site :-) Best!