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Published: 11/10/2021

Scala vs kotlin: Which one is better for your project

Scala vs kotlin: Which one is better for your project
Do you need to choose between Scala and Kotlin? If so, you are not alone. These programming languages have become very popular in recent years, but there can be some confusion as to which one is better for what type of project. In this blog post, we will pick up the fight between Scala vs Kotlin and compare these two languages to help you decide which one is more appropriate for your needs!

Contents

  1. Meet Scala
  2. 5 Examples of companies using Scala as their programming language
  3. Meet Kotlin
  4. 5 Examples of companies using Kotlin as their programming language
  5. Scala vs Kotlin: how do they compare?
  6. Scala vs Kotlin: what to choose, then?

Meet Scala

#1 What is Scala?

Scala, which is pronounced "SCAL-uh", is a functional programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine. Also, we can say that Scala  is a combination of object-oriented and functional programming. What object-oriented means? It enables Scala to define classes, the use of inheritance, polymorphism and encapsulation. Other object-oriented languages are Java, C++ or Javascript. Scala was designed to integrate with Java and other languages in order to maximize interoperability. Scala uses the same JVM as Java does, so it can call any function or method written in java seamlessly. This makes it very useful for developers who want to code in one language and use the same methods as another. Apart from Scala, Kotlin and Java, the list of JVM (the Java Virtual Machine) languages include:
  • Groovy, a dynamic and scripting programming language
  • Clojure, a dynamic and functional dialect of the Lisp programming language,

#2 Why use Scala?

Scala programming is useful because it allows you to use the best of both worlds when it comes to object-oriented and functional programming. In functional programming, we emphasize calculating function values, their compositions, and higher-order functions. Scala uses an OOP syntax that is very similar to Java, but also provides a lot of flexibility in terms of functional programming. This means you can write your code however you want! Scala has a very strong focus on functional programming, which makes it stand out from many other languages such as Java and C++. Scala's functional approach means that you get to clean up your code because the language is built around immutability and avoiding state mutation whenever possible. This can help you write code quickly while at the same time avoiding bugs. Scala's functional programming style also results in very short functions that are easy to understand and test. You can use this approach with both small or large teams because the code is concise, efficient, and straightforward.

#3 Drawbacks of using Scala

The first appearance of Scala was on the 20th January 2004. Scala language was created by Martin Odersky, computer scientist and lecturer, professor of programming methods at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. His specialization is the analysis of code and programming language. Currently, there are 88 versions of Scala. The latest version is Scala 3.0. Scala 3 has gained much praise for the progress and the eliminated problems that previously caused many errors for developers. Scala has a few shortcomings, but these are often out of the control of developers. Due to its functional programming style and focus on immutability, Compared to Kotlin, Scala programs can be less efficient than object-oriented Java code in terms of memory management and CPU usage. This is because it avoids state mutation while still allowing for mutable data structures under certain conditions. #Differences Scala is also a difficult language to pick up and learn because it can be very different from other languages, such as Java. This means that you will need more time to get familiar with the syntax before you become productive in Scala than if you were using an object-oriented programming language like Java or C++. Java programming is object-oriented, class-base and high-level programming language. It has been in the tech industry since 1995. The task of Java developers is to design, develop and manage Java-based compilations. The main goal of Java developers is to advance in technology using programming languages constantly. The main idea of Java is to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. Thus, it allows you to create the application once and use it again without re-typing. However, despite the many similarities between Java languages, Scala stands out for its bigger flexible syntax compared to Java.

#4 What are the uses of Scala?

Scala is a general purpose programming language that can be used to develop almost any type of application. Scala has been around for quite some time, and it’s being used in many different industries, including digital advertising, data analytics/data science applications,  data processing, robotics automation etc. You may already know about the usage of Scala on Apache Spark (a massive parallel processing engine), Elastic Search (real-time distributed search engine) or Twitter Storm (distributed real-time computation system). Many companies are using Scala language because it provides better speed while allowing you to write clear code with fewer bugs - not to mention how easy it is to learn! If you want to build complex multi-threaded systems then this might be your best choice. There are many other programming languages out there, which can be used to do the same things as Scala, but none of them is like Scala. The Scala community is growing with each passing year. To support the community, members organize many events dedicated to the Scala language.

5 Examples of companies using Scala as their programming language

Some companies that use Scala as their main programming languages include Twitter, LinkedIn, and Klout. However, there are even more examples worth mentioning.

Meet Kotlin

#1 What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a statically typed programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine and can also be compiled to JavaScript source code. It was designed by JetBrains, who is known for tools such as Intellij IDEA and ReSharper. Kotlin compiles directly to bytecode, but it does so much more efficiently than Scala does which means it is much more concise and performs better than Scala. The first release of Kotlin was on July 22, 2011. It was designed by the creator of JetBrains, founded in 2000. JetBrains is a state-of-the-art software vendor that specializes in creating intelligent development tools. Kotlin's design addresses many of the shortcomings in Java, such as verbosity and null pointer exceptions. It also compiles directly to bytecode so you can use existing Java libraries without having to worry about any interoperability issues. This makes Kotlin similar in nature to Scala in some ways. Kotlin is still a new programming language, so it does not have the same level of maturity as other languages such as Java or C++. However, because Kotlin was designed by JetBrains and runs on top of the JVM languages like Scala does, you will find that interoperability with existing software is much easier when working with Kotlin.

#2 Why use Kotlin?

Kotlin is a great programming language. It is easy to learn and use. It is also more concise than Java, the most commonly used language for Android development (which Kotlin fully interoperates with). The concise syntax of Kotlin means that you need to write less code. This makes it easier for new developers on a project, as they can get up and running faster with fewer lines of code. Kotlin is also 100% interoperable with Java, which means you can mix them in the same project without any issues at all. This allows teams using Android Studio to gradually convert their projects over from Java to Kotlin if desired (although doing so will mean extra time spent revising existing code). Additionally - because of using IntelliJ IDEA for our development environment - Android Studio has excellent support for Kotlin already built-in. You just need access to some additional plugins before you're able to take advantage of this.

#3 Drawbacks of using Kotlin

Kotlin's biggest drawback is that it does not have the same level of support as Java programming language. For example, there are fewer libraries available to developers using Kotlin than those who use Java for development purposes. However, this isn't necessarily a reason not to use Kotlin - you may find yourself creating better code with it anyway due to its increased terseness! Another potential issue with choosing between programming languages Scala and Kotlin comes down to your choice of IDE (Integrated Development Environment). For example, Android Studio supports both languages equally well now through their IntelliJ IDEA plugin system. If you choose another IDE then Scala will be easier to implement in terms of compatibility thanks to being part of standard java toolsets. It also has a larger support community base. Kotlin can be helpful with work with data processing. It is concise and readable, making work more accessible, and thanks to static typing and null safety, you will create reliable, simple code.  When Kotlin and Java interact, null values may appear; Kotlin handles this with null tracking. For now, JetBrains has made five versions of Kotlin:
  • Kotlin v1.1
  • Kotlin v1.2
  • Kotlin v1.3
  • Kotlin v1.4
  • Kotlin v1.5

#4 What are the uses of Kotlin?

As mentioned previously, Kotlin is 100% interoperable with Java on the JVM. Java interoperability means that you can use it in projects where some parts are written using Java programming language and others are written using Kotlin without any issues at all. Kotlin also runs perfectly fine alongside another modern programming language called Swift which was developed by Apple for iOS development purposes. Swift is the LLVM programming language. We use Swift on devices with iOs, IPadOs, WatchOs, tvOS, Linux, Windows or macOS. Created in 2013, it quickly gained popularity and made it easier to write software that will become applications. Kotlin is a modern language that helps reduce the boilerplate code. As a result, it is eliminating unnecessary rewriting or creating the same code from scratch.  Boilerplate codes can cause programmers much work, giving only little functions to use instead. Kotlin language is a very easy programming language to learn and has a short learning curve meaning that you can get up to speed quickly. This makes it the perfect choice for people who are relatively new to programming or coming from other languages like JavaScript, Ruby etc. Although there isn't a huge amount of support out there right now for this combination (although Xcode does have basic support built-in), this could be an excellent opportunity to get ahead of other developers who will want to learn both languages over the coming years! These days the Kotlin community on the Kotlin Slack is close to 30000 members.

5 Examples of companies using Kotlin as their programming language

As Kotlin is so new, it may be difficult to find companies that are currently using this programming language in their projects. However, there are a few examples out there at the moment which include:
  •  Basecamp (a project management platform for businesses),
  • Square  (a company that provides financial services and digital payments),
  • Corda  (is an open-source blockchain project).
This list is growing all of the time and you can bet that many more big-name brands will adopt Kotlin over the coming years and support its community! It's definitely one to watch.

Is Kotlin better than Scala?

Kotlin compared to Scala is a newer language that has many advantages. The most obvious advantage of Kotlin over Scala is that it does not have the same performance issues as Scala due to its approach to immutability and functional programming. This means you can use Kotlin without having to worry about sacrificing efficiency for functionality like you do with Scala. Another advantage of the language Kotlin is that it offers a lot more features than Scala. While both languages are statically typed, Kotlin can be optionally typed while Scala always requires that you declare your variables before using them. This means the code becomes cleaner and easier to understand when not having to worry about types all the time.

Scala vs Kotlin: how do they compare?

Kotlin also offers a lot of modern features that Scala does not have. These include null safety, extension functions, and lambdas, top-level functions, ranges for looping over collections, as well as object declarations such as data classes (similar to Cstructs). But both Scala and Kotlin offer Null Safety but in varying amounts. When we compare Kotlin vs Scala for pattern matching, we can easily say that Kotlin lacks it. This Scala functionality is beneficial and praised by users. Kotlin language enables the use of the overloading operator. The concept behind this is that the operator can have different implementations depending on the arguments. Scala language also supports and involves operator overloading. When we think about simplicity comparing Scala vs Kotlin, it is easy to say that Kotlin is a simpler programming language. That is because it was designed with Java interoperability in mind. It means that you can useKotlin with existing Java libraries without having to worry about any compatibility issues, because it uses the same JVM bytecode as Scala does. These are just some of the reasons why you should consider using Kotlin over other programming languages like Java or Scala.

Scala vs Kotlin: what to choose, then?

So, now you know the benefits of using the programming languages Kotlin over Scala. However, this does not mean that one is better than the other. It just means they are different programming languages with each having its own advantages and disadvantages. The best option for you will depend on your specific requirements. For example, if you need to use existing Java libraries, then Kotlin is the better choice. If you are into functional programming, Scala programming language may be a better option than Kotlin because it has more features that allow for easier use of this paradigm. The main takeaway here is to consider which programming language will work best for your project before making any decisions about using either Java or Scala - or even both, the choice is yours! Be sure to check DAC.digital portfolio.
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