Kotlin 1.0 Released by JetBrains to Simplify Java

Kotlin 1.0

Java is a pretty neat programming language. It was originally created in the 1990s with the biggest benefit being cross-platform. You could write one program and have it run on all the major platforms: Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Over time this expanded to enterprise servers and mobile phones. Android later became the most popular mobile platform and most of its apps are built using Java, although it has a few differences from stock Java.

Java was great at the time, although some people have tried to modernize the language with projects such as RxJava. Another such project, called Kotlin, has just received its 1.0 release. It is made by JetBrains, the same company who built IntelliJ, the backbone for Android Studio.

Kotlin’s key focuses are around interoperability. You can easily build apps using Kotlin, as it works well with Java. You can also built a single function with Kotlin. Developers won’t change over immediately, but allowing them to save a few lines here or there definitely will make the transition easier. Java and Kotlin can be blended into a single file.

This project has been developing for a long time. The open source project has over a hundred contributors and is already being used by many companies.

For Android developers, getting started is as simple as installing the plugin through the plugin manager.

Notable Benefits

There are a couple of improvements Kotlin makes beyond Java. Some of it is removing boilerplate:

fun main(args: Array) {
if (args.size() == 0) {
println("Provide a name")
return
}
println("Hello, ${args[0]}!")
//String Interpolation to cut down ceremony.
}

Optional semicolons, string interpolation, auto type-casting, and concise POJOs (plain old java objects) are some quick highlights. Their website goes into more detail about how to get started with the language.

Speaking as a developer myself, I’m intrigued by this project. There’s definitely some advantage to making Java look more like a scripting language rather than a programming language (eg. Javascript, Python, or Swift). Simplifying a lot of boilerplate and making it easier to get started will have numerous benefits for Java as a whole as well as Android. That being said, I think I personally will have a tough time switching over and I’ll have to start one method at a time.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub (http://github.com/fleker)Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop.Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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