Some time ago, when I found that my image scaling was incredibly slow, I was told by the 2D team that using Image.getScaledInstance() was not recommended any more. The preferred approach is to create a new Image and paint to it, scaling on the fly, to take advantage of faster loops.
I am still seeing people using getScaledInstance() and I've been trying to correct them. But we need to fix this in our API. Either a) by deprecating the old method, b) documenting the preferred approach, c) changing the implementation to use the new faster loops.
I suspect there may be similar situations with other methods - but I can't confirm.
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