So I'm used with this language and sometimes, I feel like I would prefer to use another, more modern language !
So I was quite happy to try Java. I saw Java as a kind of modern, cleaner C++, with some nice features, and a more improved object model.
But for the 'WordProspector' game, in the process of taking the database out, and replacing it with 'something' else, more lighter (see here ), I found a serious limitation of this Java object model...
The issue :
As 'WordProspector' is a word game, it is shipped with a word dictionary.
At first, I stored the dictionary as a SQL database, as it was simpler for me at that time.
but when I found how memory costly it is, I decided to switch to another way to store it.
So I came up with a kind of tree with a letter for each node.
In my effort to compress the dictionary as much as possible, I found a way to store each node as a 8 bits integer plus a 16 bits integer, so it was 3 bytes.
So I had a Node class, with simply a byte and a short.
But I had a big number of node instances in my tree : something like 300 000 nodes.
So when I loaded the tree, I started by allocating all the nodes.
Allocating the nodes with java was something like :
NodeArray = new Node[nbNodes];
for ( int i = 0; i <>
NodeArray[i] = new Node();
When I tried it on the emulator... It took several minutes... Then the program crashed...
Too much allocations of this size !
I was amazed that I just couldn't easily create this really simple array !!
Then I discovered that allocations of simple type arrays didn't demand to allocate each element !
So finally, I get rid of my nice Node class, save the whole thing as a byte array, and interpret, on the fly, the byte array as a byte plus a short.
With that, the allocation is as fast as it could be :
NodeArray = new byte[nbNodes * 3];
With this allocation issue, I had to get rid of my Node class, I just have a big array of bytes.
Acces to member are much more complicated, the code that was once so simple is now much more complex.
Add on this issue the fact that what I really wanted was an unsigned short, and not a short.
My code is now full of bits manipulation to create and interpret some bytes as unsigned short, or as bytes, depending of the situation.
With C/C++, I would never have this problem, and I would have a clean object code !