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From Java to Scala?

Posted by cwfrei on May 13, 2008 at 1:42 AM PDT

In many sessions e.g. in the Script Bowl on Day 2 Scala was a topic of interest at JavaOne (don't ask me why Scala was in the 'Script' bowl). Some of the features of this functional language certainly impressed.

In the Java Posse BOF (Java Posse Episode 186) it was discussed what the potential of Scala in the world of programming languages is. For sure dynamic languages have a different standing and Scala is offering complementary advantages. It was pointed out though, that Scala could replace the Java language. The Java language of course, not the Java platform. I am curious to see whether Scala will really pick up momentum.

Martin Odersky, the creator of Scala, will hold a keynote at Jazoon'08.

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@cowwoc: Scala is not a dynamically typed language, it is statically typed...

cowwoc, Scala is a statically typed language. In fact, it has a richer type system than just about any language short of fully dependently typed languages. That's one of the reasons Christian can seriously consider Scala a plug-in replacement for the Java language. The other reason is that the Java-like subset of Scala produces pretty much the same byte code you'd get out of an equivalent Java program. That means you get the same kinds of performance and interoperability.

To cowwoc: Scala is static-typing as Java. And it's full object-oriented. BTW: I most wish SUN fix the Generic Type in Java by modify the JVM like C#.

Sun should definitely throw some weight behind Scala but I don't think it will ever replace Java for the simple reason that Java is great for the static-typing crowd while Scala is great for the dynamic-type crowd.

I personally dislike dynamic languages. I'll be the first to admit it's a very subjective matter and it is unlikely people will be able to convince me otherwise. I think there is a lot of value of having Java co-exist alongside Scala so people from both camps can have their cake and eat it too.

After all of the Scala buzz generated over the past week or so, I decided to give it a try. Scala is simply amazing! It addresses every complaint I have about the Java programming language and then some.

I've always felt that Java's strength was the platform and all of the great libraries available for it. The weak link was the Java language (Still a great language, BTW, but a few things about it stick in my craw). Scala now fixes all of that. It would be great if Sun threw as much weight behind Scala as it did JavaFX Script.

yet more evidence that even Sun (or at least is climbing onto the old "Java is dead" bandwagon... Maybe my idea to concentrate new effort on .NET instead of Java was a good one after all.