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One-Trick Optimiser


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

Consider the following piece of Java code:
String MyString = "" ;
myString += "this" ;
myString += "that" ;
myString += "else" ;
It would more efficiently have been coded:
StringBuffer s = new StringBuffer();
s.append( "this" );
s.append( "that" );
s.append( "else" );
String myString = s.toString();
s = null ;
Your job is to take a class file and look for the first pattern in the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) byte codes and replace it with the second. Once you have done that you might think of other one-trick optimisers that work on class files. You can cascade them together including ones from other sources. Other possibilities for optimisers include:
JASM for hints on analysing class files

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