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The moose likes Scala and the fly likes There's suddenly a lot of interest for Scala Big Moose Saloon
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There's suddenly a lot of interest for Scala

Jesper de Jong
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14345
    
  22

I was at JavaOne in the first week of June this year, and there was a lot of interest for Scala there. It seems like Scala is really taking off at the moment - at least in the minds of many Java developers. The Artima book was one of the bestsellers in the JavaOne bookstore. And besides JavaOne, I see a lot of Java developers around me who have the book and who are talking about Scala.

One evening I was at the headquarters of Twitter, where there was a meeting of the Bay Area Scala Enthusiasts (BASE), with Martin Odersky talking about new features in Scala 2.8.


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Marco Ehrentreich
best scout
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Joined: Mar 07, 2007
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I'm just at the beginner level with Scala but what I really like about it is the trade-off between good concepts in combination with practical usage. You can use existing knowledge, code, libraries etc. and still benefit from the Scala features and everything runs on top of the well-known JVM. Without this more or less seamless integration with Java and the JVM it would be only half as popular, I guess. I'm sure there are a lot of programming languages out there which are even better but if they're useless for real projects because of a missing community or library it's nothing more like an interesting experience for me (and probably lots of other people). Of course other languages should get a chance, too, but it's simply not possible to start from scratch everytime a new language is created. Anyway, I'm quite curious what the future will bring for Java...

In my opinion one thing that's still missing would be really good IDE support comparable to the Java language. I'm using NetBeans and it already has a plugin but because it's relatively new it's not as mature as the plugins and support for Java (No, I don't want to use my preferred editor ;-)).

Marco
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14345
    
  22

I'm also using the NetBeans plug-in for Scala, and I've noticed some problems with it - sometimes it accepts invalid Scala code, it doesn't show a red squiggly line under code that doesn't compile.

I've also tried the Eclipse plug-in, but that one is not very useable - I couldn't get syntax highlighting to work, and got some strange error messages in the Eclipse log. At the meeting at Twitter, Martin Odersky told us that people are working on the plug-in for Eclipse, so hopefully it will be better when Scala 2.8 is released later this year.
Garrett Rowe
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Joined: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 1296
Yeah, the IDE support is pretty bad. The Eclipse plugin seemed to get in the way the last time I used it. I'm down to a text editor and Maven, which is fine for me because my stuff has been all hobby code and isn't too complex. I think Scala is picking up momentum because users really enjoy coding in in it. The compiler still has some quirks, and I think there is some feature creep occurring with every new version, default arguments being the newest toy, but overall Scala is a pretty nice language.


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Barry Andrews
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Joined: Sep 05, 2000
Posts: 523

IMO, no matter how expressive and useful a programming language is, for it to really take off, there have to be good tools to support it. I don't think anybody in their right mind would want to go from the Eclipse/Java ( Netbeans/Java ), or MS Visual Studio/C# world which have great tools to poor or mediocre tooling.
Garrett Rowe
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Joined: Jan 17, 2006
Posts: 1296
The success of Java did not come from it's tools, in fact it was quite the other way around.
Eugene Abarquez
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Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 211
I think Twitter has a lot to do with it's popularity.


There's so much to learn in this industry, and not everybody has the necessary interest.
Marcos Ackel
Greenhorn

Joined: Aug 27, 2009
Posts: 1
We have a team of about 40 programmers working in Java and C#. Although we're very comfortable working in Java, we're also very disappointed with the big gap in productivity between Netbeans/Eclipse and Visual Studio. One very plausible solution would be to move to a more productive language like Scala, so we're evaluating it.
By now, our impressions are that not everyone will be a good programmer in Scala as the language has many new, not so easy features to grasp. But the main problem is really the IDE and related tools.
This is by far the most important issue when in an enterprise development environment. If the IDE is not productive, there is no chance for the language - it doesn't matter how good it is. If Groovy had a better plugin, we would have adopted it, but the available plugins are really very poor.
So, if Scala is to succeed, give it a very good plugin to Netbeans _and_ Eclipse, so to make programmers more productive. It' has to have all good features we find for the Java language in Netbeans/Eclipse. No less. Good online help, good documentation, good refactoring tools, etc.
The Scala language, by itself is modern and powerful enough to boost productivity. Now what we need is a good and stable environment (IDE/plugin).
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Marcos Ackel wrote:We have a team of about 40 programmers working in Java and C#. Although we're very comfortable working in Java, we're also very disappointed with the big gap in productivity between Netbeans/Eclipse and Visual Studio. One very plausible solution would be to move to a more productive language like Scala, so we're evaluating it.
By now, our impressions are that not everyone will be a good programmer in Scala as the language has many new, not so easy features to grasp. But the main problem is really the IDE and related tools.
This is by far the most important issue when in an enterprise development environment. If the IDE is not productive, there is no chance for the language - it doesn't matter how good it is. If Groovy had a better plugin, we would have adopted it, but the available plugins are really very poor.
So, if Scala is to succeed, give it a very good plugin to Netbeans _and_ Eclipse, so to make programmers more productive. It' has to have all good features we find for the Java language in Netbeans/Eclipse. No less. Good online help, good documentation, good refactoring tools, etc.
The Scala language, by itself is modern and powerful enough to boost productivity. Now what we need is a good and stable environment (IDE/plugin).


I find this entire post very interesting. You're complaining about productivity gaps between Eclipse/Netbeans and Visual Studio and you think a new language is going to help? Also, you're willing to purchase (I guess you have to) Visual Studio but for what reasons are you not willing to throw down some cash for something like IntelliJ IDEA which has the best Groovy support available? To me, it looks like you're looking in the wrong places for solutions to productivity issues.

I'm not saying you shouldn't look into Scala but it's not going to solve the problems you think you have.


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Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

high productivity IDEs are developed after a language has reached a critical level of acceptance. The early adopters are likely to use vi and ant, or notepad or emacs, all with command line compilers, or ant or maven.

Typically, the first IDE implementations leave a lot to be desired. Java was several years old before there were any IDEs worth using. I can not even remember the first IDE that I used for Java, I do know that it died very early this century.

Real scala is not just Java with closures. Don't expect a fully developed IDE to show up overnight.

Its not realistic to think your 40 engineers can become effective scala (or groovy or lisp or scheme) engineers quickly, either.
Trilochan Bharadwaj
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Joined: Feb 02, 2009
Posts: 100
Not to go on a detour, but this links interesting from Original post perspective "on Why There's suddenly a lot of interest for Scala" ... Lot of good points explored there, worth checking out.
Twitter on Scala

Trilochan.
 
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