Thursday May 31, 2012

Java Champion Dick Wall Explores the Virtues of Scala (otn interview)

In a new interview up on otn/java, titled “Java Champion Dick Wall on the Virtues of Scala (Part 2),” Dick Wall explains why, after a long career in programming exploring Lisp, C, C++, Python, and Java, he has finally settled on Scala as his language of choice.

From the interview:

“I was always on the lookout for a language that would give me both Python-like productivity and simplicity for just writing something and quickly having it work and that also offers strong performance, toolability, and type safety (all of which I like in Java). Scala is simply the first language that offers all those features in a package that suits me. Programming in Scala feels like programming in Python (if you can think it, you can do it), but with the benefit of having a compiler looking over your shoulder and telling you that you have the wrong type here or the wrong method name there.

The final ‘aha!’ moment came about a year and a half ago. I had a quick task to complete, and I started writing it in Python (as I have for many years) but then realized that I could probably write it just as fast in Scala. I tried, and indeed I managed to write it just about as fast.”

Wall makes the remarkable claim that once Java developers have learned to work in Scala, when they work on large projects, they typically find themselves more productive than they are in Java. “Of course,” he points out, “people are always going to argue about these claims, but I can put my hand over my heart and say that I am much more productive in Scala than I was in Java, and I see no reason why the many people I know using Scala wouldn’t say the same without some reason.”

Read the interview here.

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