Rational Application Developer (RAD) 7/7.5

The long standing issues have been finally fixed by IBM. Please update your RAD 7/7.5 installation to the latest fixpack.
Thanks to all folks having taken care to report/escalate this issue.

Rational Application Developer (RAD) 6 users

Note: As of eclipse-cs 5.0.0 RAD 6 is no loner supported. The following information is kept for reference.

Due to a bug in IBMs J9 VM on which RAD runs, out of the box usage of the Eclipse Checkstyle Plugin will with almost certainty lead to crashes of RAD.

The problem is acknowledged by IBM, considering this technote.
However, even as there is a official bug report open at IBM since July 2006 this problem has not been fixed yet, although the above mentioned technote seems to point at a specific problem location.

Luckily there are two options to work around the VM crash issues:

  1. Disable the plugins project classloader:
    Go to Window->Preferences->Checkstyle and tick the Disable project classloader checkbox.
    It is absolutely crucial to do a minor change to your Checkstyle configuration.
    There are currently two checks in Checkstyle which load class information of the code to be checked.
    Those two checks are JavadocMethod and RedundantThrows.
    Both checks have a setting called logLoadErrors, which must be set to true.
    Failure to do so will result in Checkstyle throwing RuntimeException on the attempted classloading. These RuntimeExceptions manifest themselves in the plugin as error markes in the checked source files, all with a problem description like: Unable to find class information for XYZ.

  2. Disable J9s class garbage collection:
    As suggested in the technote it is possible to disable J9s class data garbage collection, using the -Xnoclassgc option in eclipse.ini, which is placed in RADs installation folder.
    With this option the project classloader does not need to be disabled. The downside however is that RAD accumulates more memory and might run into OutOfMemory errors more often (avg. once per work day - this is my personal experience, mileage my vary).
    TODO: add eclipse.ini sample