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Kotlin support: what does it mean to developers with a Java background?  RSS feed

 
satya Priya Sundar
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Dear Authors,

On Google's announcement that it will officially support Kotlin on Android as a “first-class” language

Though Android doesn’t use the JVM exactly, the Java roots are strong, As with Kotlin’s interoperability with Java
That has made it a popular choice for developers. Official Google support will be a huge boost for the new kid on the block
:-)

I know you have answered a similar question this forum, my question is, what does this would mean for Java Developers
who have transitioned into android with the Java background, How this new change would affect them?
I believe it is going to be much more fun and productive as a language it has a lot of similarities to Java in structure

Thanks
Sathya
 
David Griffiths
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satya Priya Sundar wrote:Dear Authors,

On Google's announcement that it will officially support Kotlin on Android as a “first-class” language

Though Android doesn’t use the JVM exactly, the Java roots are strong, As with Kotlin’s interoperability with Java
That has made it a popular choice for developers. Official Google support will be a huge boost for the new kid on the block
:-)

I know you have answered a similar question this forum, my question is, what does this would mean for Java Developers
who have transitioned into android with the Java background, How this new change would affect them?
I believe it is going to be much more fun and productive as a language it has a lot of similarities to Java in structure

Thanks
Sathya


Hello Sathya,

Great question. Although Android doesn't use the JVM, it is deeply tied to the Java platform. When you compile your code, the dx tool converts the generated .class files into files (usually just one) in Dalvik Executable (dex) format. This means that so long as you write code that compiles down to .class files, it will continue to run on Android. Google tried creating a compiler a while back called JACK that went straight from Java source to DEX files, but they abandoned this earlier this year which indicated that:

a. things like code coverage tools would no longer function, because they work by injecting code into class files, and
b. there was a really big, secret reason why they wanted to build apps from .class files rather than source files.

And the reason behind "b" was probably Kotlin. So long as the Android tools convert .class files into Android code, it doesn't matter so much if your source code is Java or Kotlin.

However, even though Java source code will continue to work, the bigger question is what happens if the development community switch to using Kotlin as their primary language? Imagine if most of the pieces of example code you stumble across, and most of the Stack Overflow answers you find are written in Kotlin. What then?

That's why we believe that Android development will eventually shift to Kotlin. But it's likely to take a reasonable time for the switch to occur. Maybe in two years time most apps will be written in Kotlin? But even after then, Java code will continue to work, and will probably be in widespread use for a considerable time.

This is, at least, our view. We may be wrong :-)

D+D
 
satya Priya Sundar
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Thanks for your feedback and honest answer, I appreciate it.
 
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