James Jefferies and ShedCode Ltd

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The Scala Momentum Builds...

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Scala is a relatively new programming language, which runs on the Java Virtual Machine and has very good interoperability with the Java Language.

Here is the blurb from the official site

“Scala is a general purpose programming language designed to express common programming patterns in a concise, elegant, and type-safe way. It smoothly integrates features of object-oriented and functional languages, enabling Java and other programmers to be more productive. Code sizes are typically reduced by a factor of two to three when compared to an equivalent Java application.”

The bit which gets managers excited is the bit where it says “more productive”, the bit which gets technical architects excited is the bit where it says “smoothly integrates” and the bits which get developers excited is all of it!

Some people see Scala being the natural successor to Java, indeed some of our developers have spent a little bit of time having a look at the language and the main web framework, Lift. This sells lift pretty well.

So, why post about it - well, as well as Scala being something we should be looking at, I spotted a great blog post talking about how the Guardian newspaper have started using Scala. Once they started, they couldn’t stop! I like this bit:

“After about four weeks of writing just the tests in Scala, we got fed up of having to write the main code in Java, and decided to convert the whole lot to Scala.”

and this bit was a real eye opener:

“The core Java platform that delivers www.guardian.co.uk has a full release every two weeks. Compared with many enterprise Java applications, this is excellent. Compared with other websites, it’s very poor.”

Food for thought people, food for thought…