Kotlin vs. Scala: A Comparison between the Java Alternative

If you are thinking of moving away from Java, then what options you have that give you scalability and robustness like Java? With this blog, I am giving you an idea to decide between Kotlin and Scala for the best “alternative” of Java.

Change is an essential part of our life and society; we need too steadily adapt to those changes for getting the benefits of new technology. In the same way, technology is advancing day by day, and its contribution to economic growth can only be recognized if it is adopted and used at the right time. Thus, we should understand those technological factors affecting the market growth and also we should know the comparison between the technologies for new developments.

Developers are always exploring new tools and technologies to compete in the software development market. So, as per the popularity, Java programming language has become a governing force in the software development industry. The slow rise and firm programming feature of Java programming language have headed to a growing interest in the JVM programming languages.

If you are a Java developer and want to go in deep learning for choosing the right language for your next project, then this blog will definitely help you. Here I am discussing the latest JVM languages Kotlin and Scala that you can choose in place of Java. They both are different approaches and considered to be Java alternatives that improving Java.   

Comparison between Kotlin and Scala

What is Kotlin? Advantages and Disadvantages

Kotlin is an open-source programming language, released on Feb 2012 by Jetbrains, quickly became one of the swiftest growing on GitHub. The aim behind the development of Kotlin is to make better Java and add those features that not present in Java. A null safe design feature of Kotlin adds significance to Java.

Kotlin is giving well support to Android. Thus, it’s becoming more popular and perfectly compatible with Java 6 (a present version of Java on Android). Kotlin entails seamless and flawless interoperability with Java so, you can call Java code from Kotlin and vice versa without any hiccups. Also, it fulfills the dream of the developer to not to see the NullPointerException. It is the preferred choice among the developers because it announced by Google as an officially adopted language for Android development.

Advantages of Kotlin

Backed by corporates like Jetbrains and Google

Kotlin is supporting by two great companies: Jetbrains and Google, who are responsible for many other IDEs. This tooling support automatically shows the acceptance of Kotlin in the global market.

Concise and clean coding approach

Java itself a great language, but the Kotlin’s boilerplate code facilitates developers a short, concise, and to the point code lines that results in fewer bugs and errors.

Higher-order function

The term higher-order functions are functions that take a function as an argument and return type. And, the Kotlin has well maintained the higher-order functions.

Disadvantages of Kotlin

Weaker Pattern matching

Pattern matching is not robust in Kotlin in comparison to Scala. You can still do a much excellent pattern matching job by intelligently using the when clause.

Limited usability

When we are going to develop an Android app, Kotlin will be the first choice as it meant for Android apps. But unfortunately, it will never be your choice when we are going to develop other applications. Thus, outside the Android development, Kotlin is not useful.

Less official support

Although Google supports Kotlin with JetBrains, it is essential to know that Google does not endorse it whole. Because when you use Kotlin in Android, the autocorrection occurs slower in it as compared to Java.

Smaller community support

As we already know that Kotlin came in the market after Scala, so it has fewer libraries, blog posts, tutorials, and online supports than Scala. Thus, you have less chance to get technical support during development. But Kotlin is Google’s official language for Android that significantly boosted its popularity.

What is Scala? Advantages and Disadvantages

Scala developed in 2004, but its popularity has grown fast in the past couple of years. Scala is more influenced by functional programming concept and has a flexible syntax that makes it suitable for every situation, and facilitates “write once run everywhere” concept. It is different from Java and supports object-oriented and functional programming both that makes it acceptable for any projects.

Advantages of Scala

Bigger Community

Scala is a powerful Java alternative which has been in the market for 15 years. Thus, it has tremendous community support, which you can feel from seeing the YouTube tutorials, blog posts, forums, and user documentation. So, it is easy with Scala to get immediate help when you are struggling with development issues.

Full support for Pattern matching

Pattern matching is a critical concern in Scala. It uses powerful match statements, which is more powerful than Java’s switch statement and let you match any kind of data/ lists.

Write once, run anywhere

Scala is little complex than other languages, but it has flexible code syntax that gives you the proficient way to use functional programming features.

Operator overloading

With Scala, you can overload the operators limitlessly but carefully. If you do this in the right way, your code readability will increase. If not, your code will become difficult to understand.

Disadvantages of Scala

Slow compilation speed

As compared to Kotlin, Scala takes more time to compile a program, which Java and Kotlin can handle in seconds. Slow program compilation leads to delay in the development process.

Inefficient in Null safety management

Scala tries to manage the null safety, but it is not as effective as compare to Kotlin. To deal with the NPEs, Scala approach is to replace null values with other option, which increases complexity in the code and null safety becomes unhandled.

Let’s Wrap Up

Kotlin and Scala both are good alternatives of Java. But when it comes to deciding the language, is conclusively going to depend on what you’re looking for in a programming language and reason for choosing other languages in place of Java. Scala is the best fit for projects that requires both functional and OOP style programming languages that successfully handles large amounts of data or complex modelling.

Whereas, if you only require a simplified version of Java, then Kotlin will be your best choice. Creating an android app and developing mobile games apps is easy and feasible with Kotlin. Thus, what you need is to hire a trusted development company that must be trusted in the market or have a skilled developer to get the best app development services.

Author Bio:

Manish Jain is the founder and business development leader of Konstant Info. With passion and commitment, He has steered Konstant Info from modest origins to one of the most vibrant, successful software development company.

Matt Williams is the founder and CEO of Add USA Story - A platform for global startup, looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, health, technology, business and more.

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