Task Queue for Heavy Weight Tasks in JavaSE Applications

Modern hardware systems have a multi-core architecture. So in contemporary software development concurrency is an even more crucial ingredient than before. But as we will see it is of great importance for single core systems, too. If you have already created a Java Swing application you’ve propably made an acquaintance with the SwingWorker, in order to delegate long running tasks from within Swing events to another thread. But first things first. In Swing the whole painting and event handling of the graphical user interface is executed in one thread the so called event dispatching-thread from AWT the underlying former window toolkit from Java. Therefore most of Swing-based methods are not thread-safe, meaning that you have to prevent race conditions by yourself, but it offers the possibility to dispatch tasks to the event-dispatcher thread. It is highly recommended to do everything, that updates the GUI in the corresponding thread.
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Concurrent conversion of SVG to formats like PNG, EPS or PDF

In this post I’ll show how to use the ExecutorService of the java.concurrent package, in order to start as many inkscape shells as processors available on the current machine and to distribute a whole bunch of conversion tasks wisely on the cores. On my quad core I got a speedup of about 3.5, which is really near to 4.
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