Kotlin is officially here, what is it?
On the 17th of May, the android development scene changed drastically as we saw Kotlin gain first class support from Google, while this language has been available to the public through a plugin, it is only recently that this new language has been officially endorsed by Google for future Android development, but what does this mean for those of us who have been developing on Android up to this point? Is it time to learn a new language?
Not so fast!
Kotlin was made from the ground up to build upon what Java created, the team at Jetbrains who engineered this new language where left wanting with Java, and have created this new language to expand on what was possible, Kotlin is a language that has immense functionality, without sacrificing any speed when it comes to compiling and load time.
Before creating Kotlin, the team at Jetbrains tested with Scala, and were impressed with its functionality, however it was regarded as being too slow, and taking too much time to compile code, and so from that desire came Kotlin.
With that in mind, the addition of this language to Android development should come as a welcome sight, as Kotlin operates interchangeably with Java, you can even take a huge pre-existing code base, and add simply one class of Kotlin and it will run on your program developed in Java. These two languages can call back to one another, it works in both ways, if you’re writing code in Kotlin, you can always call in the Java language.
This will allow for an easy transition over to this officially supported language, not only is this allowing those of us who have used Java all of these years a chance to easily adapt to this new language, putting in one line here and there until the full picture has been painted, it will allow a transition that doesn’t cut off the old users from the new.
As a language for development on Android, it seems like a simple upgrade to begin writing in Kotlin, as opposed to Java, however I’d like to hear you’re opinion on the subject, leave a comment!