Saturday, August 23, 2008

Update svn on Leopard to play nice with subclipse

Not so long ago I moved forward to STS 1.1 which is based on Eclipse 3.4 Ganymede. Of course I needed a svn plugin and then I ran into this issue.

Mac OSx packages an old version of collabnet subversion (1.4.x). And that doesn't play nice with subclipse. The fix suggested there is to use an old version because:

For Windows users, it is a simple matter of installing the new Subversion 1.5 client and making sure JavaHL is on the path. For Unix users, this workaround obviously defeats the purpose of having a distro with package management and requires manual installation of the libraries in the correct locations.

If you truly understand that and it is a blocking concern for you (notice the hint of sarcasm), don't read on. There is however a very simple solution to run the right version and just make it work.

  1. Download and install
  2. sudo rm /usr/bin/svn* (you might want to check if you haven't got any other programs named svn* before you do this)
The second step is needed because the collabnet package installs simlinks into /usr/local/bin and the programs in /user/bin take precedence.

Once this is done you're good to go, and with the latest versions.

Update: I've moved on to do this with MacPorts, lately their svn versions are fine, and the installation is much simpler.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Correct Simple Singletons

This is going to be a very short blog. It's not about concurrency. It's about avoiding to think about concurrency. As was the original intent of this blog it is about being lazy, but still not being wrong.

Yesterday I read a very old blog while digging through the web for reasons to be scared of the volatile keyword. I found plenty, but this one is a gem: It's about .Net code, but the basic problems also apply in Java. The link to is worth a read too.

If you can think about concurrency but you don't want to do it every day like me adhere to these rules when writing singletons:

When you plan on using the singleton write:

public class Singleton {
private static final instance = new Singleton();
private Singleton() {}
public static Singleton get() {
return instance;

When you don't plan on using the singleton, but you still feel the urge to implement it write:

public class Singleton {
private static instance;
private Singleton() {}
public static synchronized Singleton get() {
return instance;

When you're not going to use the singleton a lot, it is probably more memory efficient to just use a disposable instance, hence removing the need for the singleton at all. So the recipe goes like this:
  1. Don't use a singleton if you don't need to
  2. Use the simple (static final) variant if you do need a singleton
  3. Use the synchronized variant if you are intent on going on the downward slope
  4. Of course you are special, so go on and do it the hard way.