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Google's latest android compilers - "Jack and Jill" release

Published on 25 December 14

The news is great for android app development - the latest android SDK releases two new development tools called Jack and Jill (which are named after the nursery rhyme characters). The tools are intended with an aim to replace the less-attractive existing Javac and Dex compilers. Though it has not cleared by the professionals what these changes will mean for developers, yet it seems that the updates help developers cut-down compiling times and optimize android development.

The present method is based on two-step process in which source code gets converted to Java bytecode by Javac, and then Dex turns that into Dalvik bytecode to run it on Android platform.

In the real build, Jill adds a new caching step and pre-processing which guards Jack from standard .class Java bytecode, where required, and turn it into .jayce intermediate bytecode. Java source code and the .jayce bytecode are then taken by Jack, and convert into Dalvik bytecode.

Google's latest android compilers - "Jack and Jill" release - Image 1

This shows Jack is able to compile source code directly to Dalvik and accelerate the process speed. Where java developers require Java bytecode library, they can use Jill to convert it to .jayce initially before forwarding it on to Jack. The benefit of this release is that developers need to call Jill for once to compile when a library is updated or added with new stuff and they can cache the output for future purposes.

Google’s step for building two latest compilers could be made due to the ongoing dispute with Oracle for Java use.

It seems Google has taken this step for building two new compilers is due to the conflict with Oracle over the usage of Java as Android’s primary development programming language. By eliminating Java bytecode- almost completely- simply means Oracle would have least reasons to argue against Google.

Don’t forget to share your comments for these new android compilers!
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