Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New interesting "chimaera" programming language: Scala

Object oriented programming is currently (or rather: still) state of the art and most commonly found. Functional programming always has been a topic, too, but it never really got the break-through that many people think it deserves. Lisp is one pragmatic example of how object oriented and functional programming can go hand-in-hand, although it's not really clean or even pretty (except for it's S-Expression-based syntax).

There's a relatively new programming language on the field that recently even got attention on a spin-off of Germany's biggest IT news site heise Developer. You can read the german article here or learn more about Scala on it's official website or find news related to the language at scala-blogs.org.

Scala is mixing up object oriented and functional programming. The most important aspects of functional programming (at least to me) are closures and being (optionally) free of side-effects. Scala obviously meets both criteria. It is much more practical than most other functional programming languages because it's based on Java and/or .NET and therefore can use a huge amount of existing third-party libraries out of the box. The most annoying thing about Lisp and, let's say, Haskell, is the absence of existing, maintained libraries to actually do something useful without re-inventing the wheel. Well, there's L Sharp .NET, but well... it's not the real deal and it's not as mature as Scala seems to be. It's even rumored (on Slashdot) that Twitter is moving to Scala.