Clearing Lazy References

Manually

The Lazy class has a .clear() method. When called, the reference held in the Lazy Reference is removed and only the ID is kept so that the instance can be reloaded when needed.

Important background knowledge: However, such a clear does not mean that the referenced instance immediately disappears from memory. That's the job of the garbage collector of the JVM. The reference is even registered in another place, namely in a global directory (Swizzle Registry), in which each known instance is registered with its ObjectId in a bijective manner. This means: if you clear such a reference, but shortly thereafter the Lazy Reference is queried again, probably nothing has to be loaded from the database, but simply the reference from the Swizzle Registry is restored. Nevertheless, the Swizzle Registry is not a memory leak, because it references the instances only via WeakReference. In short, if an instance is only referenced as "weak," the JVM GC will still clean it up.

Automatically

So that the Lazy References do not have to be managed manually, but the whole goes automatically, there is the following mechanism: Each Lazy instance has a lastTouched timestamp. Each .get() call sets it to the current time. This will tell you how long a Lazy Reference has not been used, i.e. if it is needed at all.

The LazyReferenceManager audits this. By default, it is not enabled because it needs its own thread and it's problematic when frameworks start threads unsolicited. But it is activated quickly:

// Lazy References timeout after 10 minutes without access
LazyReferenceManager.set(LazyReferenceManager.New(
Duration.ofMinutes(10).toMillis()
).start());