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Scala The good, the bad and the very ugly
Vanity slide Senior software engineer @ TomTom Using scala for more than a year Stackoverflow (couldn’t miss that) http://techblog.bozho.net @bozhobg (Yes, I’m making presentations about programming languages in PowerPoint with screenshots of code)
The good functional and object-oriented JVM-based val, type inference expressive DSL-friendly
The good case classes - immutable, value classes embrace immutability - immutable collections by default automatic conversion from and to Java collections
The good no null - Option[Foo] Reusing java instruments (e.g. guava, slf4j, even spring and hibernate) goodies – e.g. instantiating collections without unnecessary brackets or type declarations
Partially applied functions
Traits Multiple inheritance done right
The bad tools The compiler is too slow IDE-s (Eclipse and IntelliJ) break sbt (build tool) is buggy ecosystem Many java libraries cannot/should not be used Most frameworks and libraries and in early phase binary incompatible => one artifact for each scala version lambdas are slower than in Java 8
The bad Heavy in terms of concepts and keywords: implicits, for comprehensions, lazy, case class, case object, currying, partially applied functions vs partial functions => Steep learning curve Syntactic diabetes
Implicits implicit val, implicit def, implicitly, (implicit argument) If anywhere in the execution context there is an implicit definition, any function can read it with(implicit foo: String) => the horror! Saves initialization (e.g. of some tool)
The bad One thing can be written in many ways and there is no “right” way.
The bad “Concise” doesn’t necessarily mean fast to write or easy to read
The bad Productivity – do we gain or lose?
The very ugly cryptic
res0: Boolean = false List(1,2,3).toSet res0: s.c.immutable.Set[Int] = Set(1, 2, 3)
Philosophy Should the language stop us from shooting ourselves in the foot? Should this be at the expense of its expressiveness? Where is the balance? Who is scala suitable for?
Optimistic IDEs are getting better Frameworks are getting mature Twitter and the language author are releasing guidelines and best practices (scala – the good parts) invokeDynamic (SI-8359)
Conclusion I wouldn’t recommend scala for a general-purpose new project In an actual project most of the defficiencies are relatively easy to overcome I would recommend scala for a small, side module It’s interesting to work with, due to the functional aspect Don’t give the users of your language, API or product all of the possible options – they will misuse them.
Questions? def ? = ???