The term Scala is a combination of the words ‘scalable’ and ‘language,’ denoting one of the most scalable programming languages in the computing world. Visualized by Martin Odersky and his team in 2001, Scala had its first public release in 2004 and was modified for the .Net framework in the same year. It was released as version 2.0 in March 2006, with the most recent version (2.13.1) released in June 2019.
As a compiler-based programming language, Scala is fast and efficient. Its advantage lies in its capability to run on the JVM (Java virtual machine). This makes it possible for both the Java and Scala stacks to be seamlessly integrated.
Scala language is being developed actively, as is evident from the number of contributors (450) on the GitHub Scala repository and is being used to develop several scalable concurrent applications.
Features of Scala Programming Language
Scala has many features that make it different from other languages, which is why developers are queuing to learn Scala programming language. These features and advantages include:
– Ecosystem. Scala programming language is supported by many tools and frameworks in concurrency, for various implementations. For instance: Apache Spark for big data, Apache Kafka for high throughput messaging system, and Play framework for building web apps.
– Extensible language. Scala supports multiple language constructs that can be added to Scala as libraries. Most importantly, Scala also interpolates with the JRE (Java runtime environment).
– Allows the creation of DSL. Scala has several built-in features such as ‘implicit’ and ‘overloaded operators’ that enable you to create your domain-specific language (DSL) without language proficiency at an expert level.
– Object-oriented. Every value used in Scala is saved as an object by default. So first-class objects and anonymous functions are supported in Scala.
-Functional programming. Scala offers a lightweight syntax for creating higher-order functions (i.e., you can pass a function as an argument to another function).
– Concurrent and synchronized processing. Scala allows you to write the codes in an immutable manner for synchronized and concurrent processing.
– Statically typed. In Scala, the process of verifying and enforcing the constraints of types is inferred at compile time automatically.
– Interoperability. Both Scala and Java have a shared runtime environment that allows a user to move between them for execution in both environments. While Scala can be executed into existing Java projects, all classes of Java SDK can be used by Scala as well. So there is no need to give up on existing Java libraries, as Scala enables the mixing of the Java Code. Also, with the Scala libraries, a user can customize Java classes.
– No Semicolon. Scala does not use a semicolon after every statement. Instead, the newline character is used as the separator.
– Big data use. Scala is the most widely used language by big data developers because of its scalability on the JVM. Use cases of Spark with Scala include Alibaba and Netflix.