Kotlin 1.8 Beta Adds New JVM Functions
Written by Mike James   
Wednesday, 07 December 2022

A beta release of Kotlin 1.8 is available with improvements support for Xcode 14, compatibility with Gradle 7.3, and new experimental functions for JVM.

Kotlin is the open source language originated by JetBrains and promoted by Google as a first class language for Android to replace or supplement Java. It makes Android programming easier by reducing the need for long chunks of boilerplate code that the average programmer just doesn't get, or perhaps more accurately doesn't bother understanding at a deep level.

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While Kotlin started out having a special relationship with Android it has widened its appeal on several fronts, one being iOS development. The new release adds support for Xcode 14 and for the watchosDeviceArm64 target. Xcode, is of course,  Apple's integrated development environment for macOS that can also be used to develop apps for iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

The beta also includes support for new annotations to improve Objective-C and Swift interoperability. Developers can now use @ObjCName, @HiddenFromObjC, and @ShouldRefineInSwift. The CocoaPods Gradle plugin has also been improved so that registered Kotlin frameworks are now dynamically linked by default.

Kotlin multiplatform developers get a new Android source set layout that can be enabled in the Gradle plugin, and a new naming schema for KotlinSourceSet entities.

Kotlin isn't just good for mobile apps. As a JVM langauge it runs on most things. In terms of the JVM, the old backend has been removed, and support has been added for Java 19 bytecode. The new experimental extension functions for JVM add the ability to recursively copy or delete directory content. The Kotlin team says that opt-in is required, and you should use them only for evaluation purposes.

Kotlin/JS developers will see a more stable IR compiler, and incremental compilation set to be used by default. There are also additional reporting options for when yarn.lock is updated during the CI process.

Kotlin 1.8 isn't as big an update as some that have preceded it, but that is to be expected of a language that has already evolved to be really useful. It is nice to know that it is still pushing forward.

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More Information

Kotlin Home Page

What's New In Kotlin 1.8.1 Beta

Related Articles

Kotlin 1.7 Unveils New Compiler

Kotlin 1.5 - Mature But Still Growing

Why Do Android Devs Convert To Kotlin?

 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 December 2022 )