Swingbench 2.2 is now production

After finding a few spare hours I believe that 2.2 is now ready to be considered stable.... There are a few non serious few bugs but I'll fix those as I find time. Let me know what you think...

The new site look and feel

I've updated the sites look and feel and added blogging capability . I've used RapidWeaver to put it all together. Its a fantastic tool and really simplifies the whole laborious process. Previously I hand crank the html, php and style sheets. RapidWeaver allows me to visually put together a web site and publish just the bits I want. Give it ago.... you'll need a Mac though Winking.

J2SE 5.0 and Swingbench

I've begun looking at the internal of the swingbench code. Its not massively complicated but it is a little opaque. Its was written a long time ago when many of Java's constructs were new to a hardened C programmer. Im slowly going through the code and tidying it up, for valid reasons which I'll come to in a second. However it has given me the chance to use the functionality offered in J2SE 5.0 primarily enumerators and generics. These tidy up the code a lot and make it almost readable. Its also made me more determined to re-factor the code and make it much cleaner and modular.

The reason Im migrating to J2SE 5.0 is purely to support Oracle's new in memory database TimesTen. To measure its response time accurately I need microsecond timings. Since J2SE 5.0 offers nano second timing support where the platform supports it it made sense to do it all in one go. Sadly its a much bigger modification than I indented since it effects most of the code base. Still its proving interesting. Expect TimesTen support in a build almost immediately after 2.2 goes production.

About Windows and Mac OSX

Don't get me wrong I don't dislike windows but I think it lacks a soul... The trouble is that most people think they simply need a OS that does the job : Read email, Browse the web, Store their family snaps on... And for the most part its true. The sad thing is if your forced to sit in front of something for 8 hours a day that lacks a soul it will slowly crush yours. But its not all bad, Windows has the best driver support bar none... no one touches it. The remarkable thing is that it works at all with the myriad of expansion cards, motherboards, graphics cards, monitors. Its an engineering tour de force. I'd never thought I'd say this but perhaps there's something to Apple's approach of keeping a tight control on the central hardware platform... sure allow third parties to create the printers, tablets and other peripherals but keep the heart of the system proprietary...

I think Windows biggest problem is the huge release gaps between releases... 3 years. Thats a life time in development. By the time they've laid out their plans and set to work the market place has changed. Since XP has been released the web experience has become richer and more interactive and the need for a huge bloated OS stuffed with functionality that few will find seems slightly dated. I guess Microsoft will argue that they have a huge customer base to migrate and its a hellishly hard job... well thats true to a degree and I would have agreed with them 8 years ago but now... Now Im not so sure. Seemingly the required PC spec for a project Longhorn would pretty much eliminate the need for any migration at all... Only the latest generation machines will provide the necessary horsepower to drive its rich 3d UI.

I don't think the open-source has it quite right either.., sure their release cycles come every 6 months and they can change and innovate at a much higher rate than Windows but sadly it lacks some of the cohesion of the markets main players... Also they have to sort out the memory bloat thats occurred in the last few years... some of the apps are massive and I don't mean in terms of functionality. But having said that for all of if its piece meal delivery KDE, Gnome, XFe and Enlightenment definitely have soul. More importantly they flexibility and customizability allow them to reflect the personality of the person using them.

I've come late to Apple and thats a regret... It has feel of an OS that someone genuinely cares about. Things are intuitive, well designed and pleasant to look at without going overboard. It feels rock solid and dependable and most import for an Unix head like myself at its heart beats a Mach micro kernel. If you've not tried the experience give it ago.

Swingbench Version 2.2 (release candidate)

Swingbench version 2.1h is now 2.2. Im certain I've included enough new functionality to justify this change. Over the last week or so I've managed to add a whole raft of new features and fixes that should simplify its use. There won't be any new features in this current release just bug fixes. The intention is to have it stable and the doc finished by the end of December. I've also updated the swingbench manual, I'll update clusteroverview's doc shortly. So in summary new in 2.2...
New in 2.2

  • A new lightweight graphical load generator called "minibench"

  • The coordinator now has a number of command line options (start, stop, status, run, halt)

  • The coordinator can now be run in ether graphical or character mode

  • The charting engine now uses Oracle's BIBeans graphing technology

  • Better exception handling and error messages in both swingbench and clusteroverview

  • Users can now turn off jumping to the events panel in swingbench

  • The user chart in clusteroverview now allows users to specify monitored users

  • Swingbench can logon/logoff users between transactions (experimental)

  • Minor changes to swingconfig.xml

  • New Look and Feel

  • charbench/swingbench/minibench now have a number of command line options allowing them to override configuation file settings. This should simplify configuration.

  • CPU monitor (accessible via coordinator)

  • charbench can now display transaction/cpu load in sar/vmstat like format

  • swingbench can now display graphically display cpu load

  • Lots of fixes to the benchmark install wizards

  • order entry benchmark can now be scaled to 100GB

  • CPU monitor for database nodes in clusteroverview

  • Simple CPU monitor in minibench

Still to come

  • Localisation support

  • TimesTen support

  • Simple generic load test

  • DSS benchmark


CPU overview

New release of DataGenerator

Just released a new build of Datagenerator. I've stuck a graphical front end on it so its much easier to use now. Its never going to be amazingly fast because of its generic nature. What Im aiming to achieve is to allow the user to reverse engineer a schema and then "Super Size" it. The main modivation for this utility is to provide a benchmark for datawarehousing using swingbench that dosn't involve downloading a terabyte of data. As to whats new in it

* New graphical front end.
* New "Enumerator" data generator type
* Some bug fixes

Not much, but things have been pretty busy at work. The implementation of the reverese engineering functionality will depend on how long I can avoid doing all of the work on swingbench I've promised people.