2015-03-20

Mandatory disposal vs. the "Dispose-disposing" abomination

This article started as a stackoverflow answer, and then I copied it over here to expand on it.

For a discussion of the same issue but in java-oriented terms, see this stackoverflow answer of mine: Is overriding Object.finalize() really bad? http://programmers.stackexchange.com/a/288724/41811

There is this practice which is unfortunately very prevalent in the C# world, of implementing object disposal using the ugly, clunky, inelegant, ill-conceived, and error prone idiom known as IDisposable-disposing. MSDN describes it in length, and lots of people swear by it, follow it religiously, write walls of text discussing precisely how it should be done and precisely how it works, and precisely how they arrived at this particular way of doing it, etc.

(Please note that what I am calling ugly here is not the object disposal pattern itself; what I am calling ugly is the particular idiom of implementing an extra Dispose method with a bool disposing parameter.)

This idiom was invented under the assumption that the invocation of IDisposable.Dispose() is something optional, or in any case something which might be OK to forget, in combination with the fact that it is impossible to guarantee that our objects' destructor will always be invoked by the garbage collector to clean up resources.  So, people tend to make their best effort to invoke their IDisposable.Dispose() methods, and in case they forget, they also give it one more try from within the destructor. You know, just in case.

2015-03-13

Solid State For The Win!

These two screen captures are from CrystalDiskMark measuring the performance of my brand new Samsung 850 PRO 256GB Solid State Drive (C:) versus the performance of my old Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache Hard Disk Drive (D:).  Higher numbers are better.


Both devices are capable of SATA III, but my machine only has SATA II.  Under SATA III I would expect the HDD to perform somewhat faster, but the SSD to perform a lot faster.  I will update this post when I upgrade to SATA III.

SSD, where had you been all my life?

2015-03-04

Minimal MySQL Memory Footprint

The following image shows the mind-boggling amount of memory occupied by MySQL 5.6 server on Windows 7 64-bit.


(This is despite the fact that during installation I explicitly specified that this MySQL server is going to be used for development, not for production.)

A quick search on the web shows that this preposterous amount of memory can be reduced to something less preposterous by editing my.ini (usually found in some place like ProgramData\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.6\) and replacing the following line:
table_definition_cache=1400

with this line:
table_definition_cache=400
Unfortunately, even though the savings are huge, the memory footprint of mysql is still nothing short of gargantuan: