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The new Scala books are here!!!

Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

I've had the PDF version of the Programming in Scala "Stairway" Artima book for about a half year now and was pleasantly surprised to see the hard copy arrive at my door yesterday.

I also noticed this morning that Venkat Subramaniam, who most people know from the No Fluff Just Stuff tour, is releasing a Scala book in mid-March available for pre-order now.

My biggest goal for 2009 is to learn Scala inside and out.


A good workman is known by his tools.
Maris Orbidans
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 08, 2004
Posts: 149
Do you plan to switch from Java to scala ?

I'd like to do it. But scala is not being used very often in real life.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Originally posted by Maris Orbidans:
But scala is not being used very often in real life.

That's what all the C++ folks said in 1997. Someone has to be first.

And unlike a lot of new languages, since Scala uses the JVM and proven Java libraries, there is not much risk. If Scala turns out to be a bad idea, its not that big a deal to just implement the code in Java.

I don't know if Scala is the answer, but its clear that Java is on the downside of its life cycle.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by Maris Orbidans:
Do you plan to switch from Java to scala ?

I'd like to do it. But scala is not being used very often in real life.

Honestly, if someone in Columbus in 2009 were planning a project to use Scala, there's a good chance I'd try to get involved, assuming I'd have a decent enough grasp on the language by then that I'd feel I could provide value to the business.

Books on shelves at the bookstore will help to validate the language. Then it's up to us hobbyists to evangelize its wonders to the world.

I don't think I'd call it "switching" to Scala even if I spent the next 5 years in it professionally. I did a lot of Groovy work in 2008 but I still call myself a Java guy because that is my platform of choice. At any rate, I learned Groovy because it was fun. Getting to use it professionally was simply an unexpected joy. I'm approaching Scala the same way - it's teaching me to think about programming in ways I never have before and that makes it fun.
Garrett Rowe
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 1296
What do you think of the book so far. I haven't purchased because I've just been hacking around with the language, but I'm considering it if there's some real value to it.

<OT>
Hey Marc... Go Bucks!! I'm from Dayton myself, but I'm living in Phoenix now. Can't wait to see those Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl out here.
</OT>


Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them. - Laurence J. Peter
Garrett Rowe
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 1296
My biggest goal for 2009 is to learn Scala inside and out.


And don't forget to post here when you come across something cool.. or weird.. or some counter-intuitive corner case.
Gabriel Claramunt
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2007
Posts: 375

I actually have one question: how different is the Scala book from the material already available in the Scala web site?


Gabriel
Software Surgeon
Pho Tek
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2000
Posts: 761

My biggest goal for 2009 is to learn Scala inside and out.

I want to make that my goal as well. Sad to say, for 2008, I couldn't even get past the the term covariance.

Regards,

Pho
Zemian Deng
Greenhorn

Joined: Jun 12, 2007
Posts: 21
Ah, so great to see JavaRanch is feature a Scala forum topic! This is great!

I own a copy of PiS too, and I can tell you guys that it's pretty good. It give you reason behind some of the choices they made on the language construct and the usage of frequent collection classes. It definitely gives you the feel of Scala after reading it.

If you can't use Scala in real work, then just learning the language will teach you at least what Funtional programming is about. Of course Scala still let you do all the OO things, but the functional parts are really useful to pick up. After you learned it, you just wish Java would add some of it features to it's JDK too.

Enjoy the book and happy Scala programming!

Zemian
[ December 20, 2008: Message edited by: Zemian Deng ]
James Iry
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 20, 2008
Posts: 3
Originally posted by Gabriel Claramunt:
I actually have one question: how different is the Scala book from the material already available in the Scala web site?


There isn't a thorough tutorial on the Scala web site. There are tutorials but they aren't thorough. The spec is thorough, but it isn't a tutorial.

Hope that helps.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

I got my PDF "Programming In Scala"
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Originally posted by Pat Farrell:
but its clear that Java is on the downside of its life cycle.




:roll:


GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
Pho Tek
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 05, 2000
Posts: 761

I don't know if Scala is the answer

I'm sure we can also throw Clojure into the pool of java.next contenders.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:
rolleyes


Yeah, scoff all you want. All languages have life cycles, flow into and out of fashion. Some last longer than others. Java has had ten years, that's a pretty good run, and I'm not claiming its life is over. yet.

You heard it here first!

I have no feel for whether or not Scala is the answer. Or even whether a FP or procedural language is better. And it could just be Java-2, for some yet undefined definition of Java. But at some point, backward compatibility is going to kill it, and things like @annotations aren't going to fix the problem. I'm working my way through Stripes, and the code doesn't even feel like Java. The end is near.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Pat,
Let me relief you from the suspense you have:
Java (VM + language) isn't going any where, it is only the community that began to understand/appreciate that the JVM is able to run languages other than Java.
Java is a multi-billion industry, it is not going to vanish, not to mention the "nuclear winter" over other languages which caused by Java.
Your application needs scripting? Groovy
You miss your LISP structures? Clojure
Crazy about Erlang concurrency model? Scala
You are math maniac? Jaskell
Personally, I think many next major Java applications will be "languages cocktail".
Java and Scala for critical and core parts
Groovy for presentation tier
And maybe Clojure if you want to show your manager that you still have shenanigans under your sleeves.
Why Annotations don't feel like Java? does XML feels like Java?
I'm not trying to offend you Pat, it is just my opinion
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

Originally posted by John Todd:
Let me relief you from the suspense you have:


I have no suspense, and no worries. I've used 30 or so languages over my career, and depending on how long I stay in it, I could learn 30 more.

Your description of the future of Java describes something besides Java. Think "C with classes" and you will get a better idea. C++ is still used, but its not a hot language anymore.

With Algol 68, they fixed Algol 60. But what they really did was kill Algol.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Originally posted by Gabriel Claramunt:
I actually have one question: how different is the Scala book from the material already available in the Scala web site?

There's more and it's in one place without repeating the basics over and over and over. My biggest frustration with the Scala online documentation is that the many little tutorials all have some unique info but they all also do the whole Hello World stuff. It's nice to have a book to go chapter by chapter and constantly be reading relatively fresh content.

My only major complaint with the book at the moment is that it sometimes throws in a "Duh!" statement - by that I mean extremely short expanations for extremely basic programming concepts. They're a bit distracting when you're expecting a more advanced level and I seriously doubt anyone new to programming would be able to start with this book and Scala and have much of a clue what in the world is going on anyway.

If nothing else, with the book I'm learning a few good places to start exploring the languages a little deeper.
[ December 22, 2008: Message edited by: Marc Peabody ]
Bob Reardon
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 01, 2000
Posts: 160
I just got my copy this weekend. I am looking forward to exploring this new language!!

-Bob
 
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