Thursday, November 19, 2009

Moving on to Scala... Hopefully

Ah, Scala, I became infatuated with this language some time ago when I saw the following video presentation from fosdem 2009.

This language is such an evolutionary step over what was there before that's it really makes you think what's coming up in the future. By that, I mean what else will come from this field which was once thought to be done, where original research was basically considered to be all over.

So, why hopefully? Well, the problem with Scala, much like any new language, is tooling. The good news however is that Scala produces Java Bytecode instead of starting from scratch.

Meaning that's it's still a pain to use your favorite IDE, Netbeans in my case, with this language. However, leveraging the existing Java platform means that it doesn't suffer from things that would normally suffer any nascent language:
  1. Uses the JVM, so performance is what you would expect. It's fast and works well.
  2. Tons and tons of libraries because it can access any Java library out there.
  3. Continuous integration servers and other tools that you would want to complete your development life cycle are all readily available since it's Java based
  4. Mature application servers. Code produced from the compiler is Java Bytecode, hence any Java EE server, like Glassfish, will just work.
Unfortunately, for now, until the Netbeans support matures, I won't be using this. However, I would recommend developers still have a look at that video. It's hard to look at this video without being in total awe of what's going on.