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Discussion on Marlin rendering engine for 2D

Updated on December 20, 2016 in General Zulu Questions
1 on December 20, 2016

I reported in April that Marlin went into Zulu 9 pre-release builds. We recently had a customer situation that revealed that having Marlin in Zulu 8 would be a necessity, given that the Pisces renderer did not meet the expectations on CPU consumption. This thread aims to capture the discussion around Marlin, and how we think it will fit into the overall Zulu plan.

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0 on December 20, 2016

Laurent Bourges authored the Marlin renderer, based on the original Pisces renderer in OpenJDK. Oracle JDK uses a proprietary renderer called Ductus. Azul once tried to relicense this from its third party owner, but –just like Oracle–did not succeed.

Laurent’s work on Marlin is posted in public here:
https://github.com/bourgesl/marlin-renderer

Laurent successfully got the Marlin renderer in to OpenJDK 9 via JEP 265:
http://openjdk.java.net/jeps/265

The Zulu dev team applied a build of the Marlin renderer as a workaround to the aforementioned customer problem. It worked very well, and met the customer’s performance and CPU consumption budget. The Zulu dev team is therefore now backporting Marlin into Zulu 8. Azul’s intention will be to backport the OpenJDK 9 changes into OpenJDK 8, too, given review approvals to do so. 

We anticipate Zulu 8.20, which ships at the end of January 2017, to include Marlin in the Windows, Linux, and Mac for Intel x64 packages. We also started a dev effort to see how Marlin works on ARM. If that also looks good, then deliverables may ship a bit later in 2017.

This thread remains open as invitation to discuss Marlin, report any findings, and air out issues, both during and after initial release aimed for Zulu 8.20. 

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