The mobile app development industry is seeing a massive shift from native, Objective-C, and Java-based apps to cross-platform mobile applications. Google’s Android and Apple’s IOS are both examples of such platforms.
In this context, the question among businesses in the startup phase is whether to go for Scala or Kotlin when developing their apps. Choosing between them is a bit of a headache as their features and functionality are almost the same.
This article will compare and contrast Kotlin vs Scala to help you decide which one is best for you. We will examine their pros and cons and when each language is best used. By the end of this write-up, you should have a good understanding of which language is suitable for your project.
So, let’s get started.
What is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a JVM-based language that JetBrains created in 2010. It is designed to be concise and expressive while also interoperable with Java. Kotlin has been growing in popularity over the past few years, and it’s currently ranked as the 12th most popular programming language on GitHub. Many companies are actively looking to hire Kotlin developers.
Pros of Kotlin
There are many pros to using Kotlin in your project. Some of the key benefits include:
-Kotlin is interoperable with Java so that you can use both languages in the same project.
-It is statically typed, which means it catches errors early in the development process.
-It is concise and expressive, making it easy to read and understand.
-This technology has many features that make development easier, such as null safety, data classes, and extension functions.
Cons of Kotlin
There are also some cons to using Kotlin in your project. Some of the key disadvantages include:
-Kotlin is a relatively new language, so there may be some lack of support or documentation.
-It is not as fast or as scalable as Java, so you may need to make some tradeoffs if performance is important to you.
-It can be slower than Java in some cases.
What is Scala?
Scala is a JVM-based language that Martin Odersky created in 2004. It is designed to be concise, efficient, and expressive. Scala has been growing in popularity over the past few years, and it’s currently ranked as the 16th most popular programming language on GitHub.
Pros of Scala
There are many pros to using Scala in your project. Some of the key benefits include:
-Scala is best suited for developing large-scale applications. It is more scalable than Java and can handle more requests per second.
-It is a type-safe language, which means it catches errors early in the development process. Also, it can save your time and prevent later on hassles.
-It has many features that make development easier, such as null safety, pattern matching, and implicit.
-Also, it is a versatile language that can be used for both backend and frontend development.
-This language is more scalable than Java, making it a good choice for large-scale projects.
-The Java Virtual Machine powers scala, so you can use all of the libraries and tools available for Java.
Cons of Scala
There are also some cons to using Scala in your project. Some of the key disadvantages include:
-Scala can be difficult to learn for beginners.
-It is not as fast or as efficient as Java, so you may need to make some tradeoffs if performance is important.
-It can be slower than Java in some cases.
Detailed Comparison of Kotlin vs Scala
Now that we have a basic understanding of each language let’s compare them in more detail. We will look at the following areas:
1. Popularity-Which language is more popular?
Kotlin is more popular than Scala. According to the Google Trends results, Kotlin is leading in popularity. It is ranked 12th most popular programming language on GitHub, and Scala ranked 16th.
It doesn’t mean that Scala is unpopular-it’s still a prevalent language. However, Kotlin is growing in popularity at a faster rate.
The top market giants are backing Kotlin. Android Studio is based on JetBrains’ IntelliJ IDEA, which has been Kotlin-centric for a while and now offers first-class support for the language. LinkedIn, Square, and others are using Scala in anger but have also adopted Kotlin.
2. Ease of Learning-Which language is easier to understand?
Kotlin is considered to be easier to learn than Scala. It has a concise syntax, and it’s interoperable with Java so that you can use both languages in the same project.
Scala has a more complex syntax and can be difficult for beginners to understand. However, it offers more features and flexibility than Kotlin. Businesses and organizations such as Twitter, Netflix, and Wall Street Journal use Scala in production.
3. Performance-Which language provides better app performance, Kotlin or Scala?
In general, Kotlin is slightly faster than Scala. However, there are some cases where Scala is faster. The performance of both languages depends on the specific task that you’re trying to accomplish.
Kotlin has a smaller runtime library, making it faster to load and execute. Scala has more features than Kotlin, so it can be slower in some cases. However, we should also evaluate the performance of both languages on a case-by-case basis.
4. Scalable-Which language is more scalable?
Kotlin is more scalable than Scala. Kotlin was designed for writing small, maintainable codebases, whereas Scala is designed for large-scale projects.
Scala is a powerful language that can be used for both backend and frontend development.
However, it’s not as well suited for small projects as Kotlin. It’s also worth noting that Kotlin is more lightweight and efficient than Scala, so it’s a better choice for high-performance applications.
5. Does pattern Matching-Which language support pattern match?
Scala supports pattern matching, while Kotlin does not. Pattern matching is a feature that allows you to match different data types against a given pattern. This can be useful for performing complex operations on data structures.
Businesses can use pattern matching to reduce the amount of code they need to write. For instance, you can use pattern matching to match a string against a regular expression.
6. Code Length-How much code do they write?
Kotlin code is typically shorter than Scala code. It has a more concise syntax and fewer features than Scala.
However, it’s important to note that the amount of code that you write depends on the specific task that you’re trying to accomplish. You may need to write more code in Kotlin than in Scala in some cases.
7. Language Beliefs-What are their language beliefs?
Kotlin and Scala have different language beliefs. Kotlin is designed for pragmatic development, whereas Scala is designed for functional programming.
As read above, JetBrains created Kotlin, a company specializing in Java development tools. It was designed to be interoperable with Java to use both languages in the same project.
Scala was created by Martin Odersky, who is also the creator of Java. Scala was designed for functional programming and offered more features than Kotlin.
Final Result-Who wins between Kotlin and Scala?
Kotlin is a better choice for pragmatic development and small projects. Scala is a better choice for large-scale projects and businesses that need more features.
But as it’s clear from the above comparison, Kotlin is winning over Scala. So, if you are looking for a language that is easy to learn and provides better performance, Kotlin should be your choice.
However, it’s essential to evaluate the specific task you’re trying to accomplish before deciding. Better, you consult a mobile app development company to get professional advice. They’ll help you choose the correct language for your project.