Call for Discussion: New Project: Leyden

Bob Vandette bob.vandette at
Mon Apr 27 18:11:58 UTC 2020

> On Apr 27, 2020, at 1:51 PM, Hohensee, Paul <hohensee at> wrote:
> Very happy to see this proposal. In my experience, time to optimized performance and memory footprint are the primary user complaints when using Java for microservices.
> If I may, I suggest that jaotc, etc. be folded into this project. It should be "straightforward" :) for the proposed AOT compiler to emit, in addition to closed world images, open world images containing nmethods for execution by Hotspot. Code in the nmethods would be predicated on AOT compile assumptions and de-optimized and recompiled as usual if those changed.

I believe Mark is proposing leveraging jaotc.

The jaotc behavior you are describing, beyond the closed world image support, is already in the mainline.


> Thanks,
> Paul
> On 4/27/20, 9:42 AM, "discuss on behalf of mark.reinhold at" <discuss-bounces at on behalf of mark.reinhold at> wrote:
>    I hereby invite discussion of a new Project, Leyden, whose primary goal
>    will be to address the long-term pain points of Java’s slow startup time,
>    slow time to peak performance, and large footprint.
>    Leyden will address these pain points by introducing a concept of _static
>    images_ to the Java Platform, and to the JDK.
>      - A static image is a standalone program, derived from an application,
>        which runs that application -- and no other.
>      - A static image is a closed world: It cannot load classes from outside
>        the image, nor can it spin new bytecodes at run time.
>    These two constraints enable build-time analyses that can remove unused
>    classes and identify class initializers which can be run at build time,
>    thereby reducing both the size of the image and its startup time.  These
>    constraints also enable aggressive ahead-of-time compilation, thereby
>    reducing the image’s time to peak performance.
>    Static images are not for everyone, due to the closed-world constraint,
>    nor are they for every type of application.  They often require manual
>    configuration in order to achieve the best results.  We do, however,
>    expect the results to be worthwhile in important deployment scenarios
>    such as small embedded devices and the cloud.
>    Project Leyden will take inspiration from past efforts to explore this
>    space, including the GNU Compiler for Java [1] and the Native Image
>    feature of GraalVM [2].  Leyden will add static images to the Java
>    Platform Specification, and we expect that GraalVM will evolve to
>    implement that Specification.  Developers who use only the standard,
>    specified static-image feature will then be able to switch with ease
>    between Leyden (in the JDK), Native Image (in GraalVM), and whatever
>    other conforming implementations may arise, choosing amongst tradeoffs
>    of compile time, startup time, and image size.
>    We do not intend to implement Leyden by merging the Native Image code
>    from GraalVM into the JDK.  Leyden will, rather, be based upon existing
>    components in the JDK such as the HotSpot JVM, the `jaotc` ahead-of-time
>    compiler [3], application class-data sharing [4], and the `jlink` linking
>    tool [5].
>    I propose to lead this Project with an initial set of Reviewers that
>    includes, but is not limited to, Alex Buckley, Bob Vandette, Claes
>    Redestad, Igor Veresov, Ioi Lam, Mandy Chung, and Vladimir Kozlov.
>    This Project will start with a clone of the current JDK main-line
>    release, JDK 15, and track main-line releases going forward.  We expect
>    to deliver Leyden over time, in a series of JEPs that will likely span
>    multiple feature releases.
>    Comments?
>    - Mark
>    [1]
>    [2]
>    [3]
>    [4]
>    [5]

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