|Kotlin - another Java alternative?|
|Written by Alex Armstrong|
|Monday, 25 July 2011|
Kotlin is the latest programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine. Do we really need another Java?
JetBrains has announced a new alternative to Java. Kotlin takes its name from an island in the Gulf of Finland near to Saint Petersburg, Russia, where one of the main JetBrains' development offices is located.
As a language the design is not remarkable. It has all of the usual features - objects, closures, extension methods and mix-ins. The language seems to have been produced because of the general dissatisfaction with Java and Java alternatives such as Scala, Groovy and Gosu. Specifically:
It also seems to have picked many of its features from each of the languages and possibly a touch of C# thrown in. The stated design goals are
Given that that language doesn't express a single big idea the question of its success probably depends on how all of the features fit together - or not. After all the world hardly needs yet another programming language let alone another JVM-based language. A quick look at the syntax description reveals a very nice modern language but for a language to become popular and hence viable it needs something more. Sometimes it is just a matter of being there at the right time - like Java itself - or it's a matter of an "authority" encouraging you to use it - like C#.
A Beta is planned for later this year and once this is available JetBrains plans to offer the compiler and plug-in for IntelliJ IDEA, its Java development environment, under the Apache licence as open source software.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 25 July 2011 )|