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Scala: combining the best of Ruby and Java?

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While the Ruby vs. Java / dynamic vs. static debate continues, a small community has been forming around the Scala programming language, which has has some of the best features of both languages but is also a functional programming language and runs on the JVM.  Like Ruby, Scala has a very terse syntax and its extensibility makes it suitable for writing DSLs, like Java, Scala is statically typed and can call Java code seamlessly without any declarations or glue code.  An older version of Scala also compiles to .NET.   Scala founder Martin Odersky (who co-designed Java Generics and implemented javac) has started blog on Artima today with his first entry on the history which led up to Scala:
Scala was designed to be both object-oriented and functional. It is a pure object-oriented language in the sense that every value is an object. Objects are defined by classes, which can be composed using mixin composition. Scala is also a functional language in the sense that every function is a value. Functions can be nested, and they can operate on data using pattern matching.
Earlier this year, Ted Neward also picked up on the "Ruby-esque" features of Scala and made three detailed blog entries introducing Scala, demonstrating it's brevity, and explaining it's object oriented design.

Key features, from the Scala homepage:
According to Martin, Scala has a small but growing community. "We currently see about 1000 downloads per month of the Scala distribution on our website."  Scala 2.1.2 was released this past April.

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Community comments

  • Scala is cool

    by Jason Carreira /

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    I started picking up Scala earlier this year around when Ted did, and it's definitely cool... I haven't had as much time as I'd like to dig in, and I got sidetracked on other functional programming topics like Monads, but I'm trying to make time to play with it some more.

    The functional stuff is definitely nice as it allows for some very concise code to do powerful things. I'm still finding it a bit tough to read compared to Java, though. Partly it's because I'm so used to Java, but partly it's because Scala is just more powerful and somewhat more complex.

  • Hmm without all the "end"s it looks like Python to me

    by Todd G /

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    Okay I'm trolling a bit but I couldn't help myself. For my eyes the "end" keywords everywhere in Ruby visually distinguish it from Python at a quick glance. Otherwise they're so similar it's hard to tell at a [very] quick glance. But I sense Ruby-colored glasses around these parts ;-)

  • Re: Entity escape issue in comment subject lines

    by Todd G /

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    See subject!

  • JVM bytecodes

    by Binil Thomas /

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    While, we are on FP, does anyone know of a Haskell compiler that can generate JVM bytecodes?

  • Re: [OT] Haskell -

    by Dan Diephouse /

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    Its not haskell per se, but I did see this: jaskell.codehaus.org/

  • Re: [OT] Haskell -> JVM bytecodes

    by James Shipley /

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  • And so on.....

    by ivan orero /

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    Ruby is slow. Scala It is slow compared to Java and Java is slow compared to C and C is slow compared to well written assembly language....

  • Re: And so on.....

    by Roger Pack /

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    looks to me like scala isn't slow compared to java. shootout.alioth.debian.org/u32/scala.php

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