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Benefits of Scala over other languages

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What Is Scala?

Scala is a high-level programming language which is a combination of object-oriented programming and functional programming. It is highly scalable which is why it is called Scala.

It is a strong static type language. In Scala, everything is an object whether it is a function or a number.

Developed by Martin Odersky, the first version of Scala was launched in the year 2004 and is running successfully since then.

 

What Is Functional Programming?

In computer science, functional programming is a programming paradigm—a style of building the structure and elements of computer programs—that treats computation as the evaluation of mathematical functions and avoids changing-state and mutable data. It is a declarative programming paradigm, which means programming is done with expressions or declarations instead of statements. In functional code, the output value of a function depends only on the arguments that are passed to the function, so calling a function “f” twice with the same value for an argument produces the same result f(x) each time; this is in contrast to procedures depending on a local or global state, which may produce different results at different times when called with the same arguments but a different program state. 

 

Where To Use Scala?

  • Web applications
  • Parallel batch processing
  • Concurrency and distributed application
  • Data analysis in Spark

 

Features Of Scala:

  • Type inference
  • Singleton object
  • Immutability
  • Lazy computing
  • Case class and Pattern matching
  • Higher order function
  • Traits
  • Rich Collection set

 

What Are The Benefits Of Using Scala?

  • Scala’s source code is written to be compiled to Java bytecode and then run on the Java Virtual Machine, making it highly portable and safe.
  • Its ability to compile to JavaScript means Scala can even be used to write web apps. 
  • Functional programming’s preference for cleanly separated and immutable data structures and discrete behaviors often allows you to do more with less code.
  • Scala provides a rich set of collection operations (like map and reduce), higher-order functions, and a strong static typing system.
  • Scala checks types at compile time, meaning that many trivial but costly bugs can be caught at compile time rather than in production.
  • Scala has a highly sophisticated type system (more so than Python), meaning that developers can enjoy the security of compile-time type-checking without having to worry about specifying every type every time.
  • One of Scala’s biggest attractions is its close relationship with the cluster-computing framework Spark.
  • Spark is written in Scala. While Spark includes APIs for working in Java, Python, and R, there are definite advantages to working in its original language, such as the ability to access new features that haven’t been ported over to other languages.

 

Code Comparison: Let’s compare the amount code needed to do same thing with Java and Scala.

Java Code:

public class User {
    private String name;
    private List<Order> orders;
    
    public User() {
        orders = new ArrayList<Order>();
    }
    
    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }
    
    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;
    }
    
    public List<Order> getOrders() {
        return orders;
    }
    
    public void setOrders(List<Order> orders) {
        this.orders = orders;
    }
}

public class Order {
    private int id;
    private List<Product> products;
    
    public Order() {
        products = new ArrayList<Product>();
    }
    
    public int getId() {
        return id;
    }
    
    public void setId(int id) {
        this.id = id;
    }
    
    public List<Product> getProducts() {
        return products;
    }
    
    public void setProducts(List<Product> products) {
        this.products = products;
    }
}

public class Product {
    private int id;
    private String category;
    
    public int getId() {
        return id;
    }
    
    public void setId(int id) {
        this.id = id;
    }
    
    public String getCategory() {
        return category;
    }
    
    public void setCategory(String category) {
        this.category = category;
    }
}

 

Scala Code:

class User {
    var name: String = _
    var orders: List[Order] = Nil
}

class Order {
    var id: Int = _
    var products: List[Product] = Nil
}

class Product {
    var id: Int = _
    var category: String = _
}

So, if we summarize we can say by using Scala:

Your code will be better:

You will be able to start using functional programming techniques to stabilize your applications and reduce issues that arise from unintended side effects. By switching from mutable data structures to immutable data structures and from regular methods to pure functions that have no effect on their environment, your code will be safer, more stable, and much easier to comprehend.

You’ll be a better engineer

An engineer who can write short and expressive code (as one expects in Ruby or Python) while also delivering a type-safe and high-performance application (as one expects from Java or C++) would be considered both impressive and valuable. You’ll be able to take full advantage of Scala’s functional programming features, deliver type-safe and expressive code, and be more productive than you have ever been.

You’ll be a happier engineer

This is admittedly a bold statement from someone you haven’t met and who shouldn’t presume to know what effect Scala development will have on your brain. I’ll only state that if your code proficiency improves to the point that you are easily writing code that works better, reads better, debugs better, and runs faster than before, and moreover takes less time to write, you’re going to be happier doing so.

 

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Comments

  • Guest
    Shamal Shingha Monday, 27 November 2017

    Thanks for the article. Now I know a bit of Scala :)

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Guest Saturday, 26 May 2018