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Scala – The next big curly brace language

I am taking Programming language class this semester. The class has started off interesting and I am excited about learning at least one more new programming language. Our instructor, an ardent researcher, talked about the Scala programming language. He told us we shall be learning this language for our class. He continued with “Scala has the potential to be the next big programming language.” I have to trust his words, as the instructor is doing research on compilers and programming languages. He even has created and worked on at least five programming languages.

Scala interested me the very first time, since it is a curly brace language similar to C, C++, C#, and Java (the languages I am most familiar with). Scala is also purely object-oriented. Even the functions/methods are objects that can be passed to other functions. It is also a functional language. I have no experience with functional languages. So I am not sure if that is exciting or not.

So far I have not seen emphasizes on functional languages. When I say that, I intend to indicate that so far wherever I worked or whichever programming assignments I did in the past, languages like C# and Java were encouraged to be used. The only time I remember was with our Competitive Programming Club (CPC) coach. During one of our return trips from a Programming contest (which tended to be at least 3 hours drive), our coach emphasized on Scheme to be the first programming language to be taught to Freshmen in a Computer Science curriculum. He even went as far as suggesting it to the Computer Science committee to do so, but to no avail.

Anyways, let’s get back to Scala. So recently I had been using Etherpad for my senior design class. I did not get into the how-and-why of Etherpad, but I enjoyed using it with my team. I just found out today that the company that developed Etherpad, AppJet, was bought by Google. And the interesting fact was that Etherpad was developed using Scala.

Twitter also changed their core framework to Scala from Ruby. And they also are planning to completely change it to Scala.

These two facts encouraged me more to delve deep into Scala. So I downloaded the Scala compiler and wrote my first Hello World program in Scala. Although it took a while (like 10-15 seconds) to compile my Hello World program, I am looking forward to programming more in Scala.

Categories: Programming
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