struts-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Christophe Warland <>
Subject RE: Tiles excessive memory usage
Date Tue, 11 Mar 2003 00:00:14 GMT
Patch is attached. Once again, please note that this is based on Tiles as of
2001-09-10. I would send my sources to the list, but I have only just joined
struts-dev today and I don't know the etiquette in use here with regards to
attachments. FWIW, my modified sources fit in a 17k zip file

If you are not interested in my patch and prefer to implement it your way,
here is my advice:
1. go to ComponentDefinition and ComponentContext and delete the following
'evil' methods
    public Map getAttributes()
    public ComponentContext(Map attributes)
    public void addAll(Map newAttributes)
    public void addMissing(Map defaultAttributes)
2. then refactor/recompile/refactor the rest of Tiles until you have
something usable (pass along and keep track of ComponentDefinition objects
as much as you can -- never access the HashMap directly).


-- Christophe

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2003 6:22 PM
To: Struts Developers List
Subject: Re: Tiles excessive memory usage


I'm just now getting to profiling our struts/tiles app and have always had
some concern about the efficiency of the tiles.  Not that I'm a suspecting
type of person but I just didn't have any information and that caused me to

Regardles when or if this fix gets placed in a release, would you be willing
to offer sufficient code snippets that will give me enough understanding to
implement your fix in my app?  I'm now getting deeper into tiles and getting
a good feel for what's going on so this would be a perfect time for me
before we enter client phase.  Also, I'd be willing to contribute this
efficiency gain to the project(with your help or ok) if Cedric and the other
powers agree this is something that should be done.

But in the meantime, could you supply me with some more detailed information
and snippets.  This could potentially kill my project since performance is
the major hot word amoung manager types these days where I work.  You can
reply to with details that don't pertain to the
developer's group if you like.

Thanks for posting this!!!!!!!

Chris Willingham
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Christophe Warland 
  To: '' 
  Cc: '' ; '' 
  Sent: Monday, March 10, 2003 4:47 PM
  Subject: Tiles excessive memory usage

  At my company, we have been recently forced to patch Tiles to solve some
major memory problems where Tiles was eating a lot of memory for no apparent
reasons. We wish to share our findings with you. And we will be happy to
send our code change to Cedric if he wishes so. 

  Here are some quick numbers about our J2EE runtime after complete bootup
(appserver and EAR file are up, deployed and ready to serve HTTP requests):
   - With original Tiles code: 79 MB of RAM is used
   - After our custom code change: 28 MB of RAM is used

  Note that the Tiles version that we use is an old one (our source zip
shows 09/10/2001). However, a quick analysis of the more recent Tiles source
found in Struts 1.1 RC1 shows that most the code where the defect lies is
still in there. But we haven't actually been able to confirm the problem at
runtime since our app is not compatible with the latest Struts and Tiles

  Here are a few excerpt of our internal analysis so that you can understand
the issue.


  Our application does not actually make use of the Tiles template mechanism
but instead builds on top of Tiles' i18n concept to offer localized Web
pages based on an individual's language, country, personality and channel.
We make extensive use of Tiles Component definitions and inheritance in XML
files, and 667 out of the 668 definitions used by our app inherit from
another one.

  With the help of a Java profiler, we showed that 64% of the 79 MB of
memory was used by HashMap entries created by Tiles.  This corresponds to
50.5 MB of RAM. After close investigation, it turns out that the very useful
Tiles' component inheritance has been mis-implemented. 

  Our application has only one definition that doesn't extend another one:
the root "pageDefinition", which contains common information such as
"pageCopyrightLink" for example. Other Component Definitions that extend
"pageDefinition", such as "disbursementCB", do not need to repeat this
information. When queried for the "pageCopyrightLink" value, the
"disbursementCB" component will delegate the processing to its parent
component, in this case "pageDefinition".

  Unfortunately, this handy conceptual delegation is actually not
implemented in a similar way in the Tiles source code.

  In our example, when the "disbursementCB" component is instantiated in
memory, the Tiles source code does not pass it a reference to the parent
"pageDefiniton" component. Instead, Tiles forces the new "disbursementCB"
component to make a deep copy of all values defined in its parent(s). This
means that, ultimately, our application ends up with 668 copies of the
"pageCopyrightLink" value in memory, instead of one. 

  After modification of the Tiles source code so that true delegation is
actually happening in memory at runtime, new heap allocation statistics
showed that the problem with excessive usage of HashMap$Entry has been
completely solved. The most in-use object in the JVM is now of the type
"[C", a common and normal trend in typical Java applications.

  The total amount of memory was also down to 28 MB. This is a pleasant 51
MB gain over the previous result.


  Finally, without being too demanding, we would appreciate if a patched
version of Tiles could be made available for for both the upcoming Struts
1.1 release and the current stabe Strust 1.0.2 one.

  Best Regards,

  Christophe Warland


  To unsubscribe, e-mail:
  For additional commands, e-mail:

View raw message