Using LightBeam to measure XRender performance

August 5th, 2008

Project LightBeam was created a few months ago to assist Swing look-and-feel developers to reliably measure performance aspects of their libraries. LightBeam has a collection of static and dynamic scenarios that test different aspects of painting and tracking changes on core Swing components making it easier to identify performance bottlenecks and helping prevent performance regressions after introducing new features. LightBeam has been extensively used throughout the development cycle of version 5.0 of Substance look-and-feel to bring it in line with other core and active third-party look-and-feels.

An unexpected and welcome usage of LightBeam comes from the XRender Pipeline project that aims to create a new Java2D rendering pipeline based upong the X11 XRender extension. This project is part of OpenJDK Community Innovators’ Challenge that has reached the submission deadline yesterday, and is lead by Clemens Eisserer. The benchmark page of XRender project uses two third-party open-source benchmarking suites – MigLayout swing benchmark and LightBeam. Here is one of the benchmark charts comparing the performance of X11 and XRender pipelines under LightBeam (unfortunately misspelled):