Simply Scala – Introduction

Being a relatively new programming language, Scala has been gaining popularity since its debut in year 2008 by Martin Ordersky, the inventor. It’s often considered as an evolved version of Java. There are a number of reasons why this is so:

1. It’s concise.

Martin takes notice of the common design patterns encountered during the development and so design this language to simplify many boilerplates. In general, one line of Scala may represent up to 5-8 lines of Java programs. Or even more.

2. It’s interoperable with Java programs.

One critical advantage of Scala is its operability with Java programs. Since it’s built on top of JVM, the compiled scala files, which are .class files, are cooperative with .class files generated from java programs.

3. It supports hybrid functional-imperative paradigm.

I’m still trying to find a way to explain what functional paradigm is. Most likely you have been programming for a while then you would have encountered, or even use, this model.

A quick comparison between imperative and functional paradigm is based on this question as a base mindset as you develop the system:

  1. Imperative: What do you want to do?
  2. Functional: What do you want?

I won’t go deep into this. Another article dedicated about this not-so-new programming paradigm is required in order to provide

There are still other strong advantages offered by Martin through this language. And of course, just as a coin has two sides, Scala also has its strong disadvantages as well, which are mostly rooted at this: It’s a very complex type system, which admittedly seem rather intimidating at first. This indicates several rooms for improvement, especially for its documentation.

Don’t get it wrong. It has already had decent community support and comprehensive documentation. I’m not talking about quantity of documentations, but quality (simplicity). Those playing around with Scala in Eclipse may sometimes cringe when you see the error compile message. It’s not always the case, though sometimes it does.

I won’t get too far here since this is just my simple introduction of what Scala is about.


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