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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Introduction To Kotlin Programming Language


Presentation of Kotlin language.

Kotlin is an object-oriented, functional programming language with static typing. It runs under the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and can also be compiled under JavaScript.
In the same way that the Java language takes its name from the Indonesian island Java, the name Kotlin comes from Kotlin Island off St Petersburg in Russia.
Announced during the Google I / O 2017 conference Kotlin became the second supported programming language on Android after obviously Java.

Kotlin language history

In 2010, the publisher JetBrains found itself faced with a dilemma: Its applications were exclusively developed in Java but it turned out that the language was less and less adapted to their desire to expand. In addition, the language seemed too restrictive. The alternatives of the time do not meet the needs of the publisher, they decided to develop their own language.
In July 2011, after a year of work, Jetbrains unveiled its project Kotlin, a new language for the virtual java machine.
In February 2012 JetBrains opened the project under Apache 2 license.
The publisher hoped that its new language would boost sales of the intelliJ IDEA development environment (IDE).
Kotlin was published in February 2016.This is considered to be the release of the first stable version of the language.
It was finally in May 2017 at the Google I / O, that Google announced that the language will be supported by its system, Android.

Development tools

To develop applications in Kotlin, you can use the intelliJ IDE on which a Kotlin plugin is available by default.
It is also possible to develop through Android studio. Indeed the plugin of Kotlin is embedded there since its version 3.0. For those who have an earlier version it will be necessary to install it manually. Once done it will just restart the IDE.
Also note that JetBrains provides a plugin for Eclipse.

The advantages of Kotlin

The list of features offered by Kotlin is very long. Just a few of its positive aspects have been mentioned above such as the optional nature of the semicolon, the management of variable mutability (with the notions of var and val), the postage of the NullPointerException as well as the new structure control tool "when" that will delight developers with the power of its usability.
It should also be added that one of the features that works in favor of Kotlin is its interoperability with its older Java. Android Java code can be invoked from Kotlin as well as a Kotlin code from Java. In addition, an Android project can include both Java and Kotlin files. It is also possible to convert existing Java files into Kotlin.
We can simply summarize all this by saying that Kotlin is a richer, more flexible and much more concise language.
In addition to making life easier for developers, Kotlin is also an important input for end users of applications. A more concise language is also less potential errors, and therefore fewer crashes in the long run. The development of applications is easy, we can also think that applications and new features will be deployed faster.

Kotlin's place and the future of Java

With all the new features brought by Kotlin, it's not surprising to see him gain ground in the hearts of developers. Indeed, in September 2016 more than 95% of Android developers used java. Barely a year later, the ratio rose to 86% for Java and 14% for Kotlin. This is an impressive change that will definitely give ideas to other developers. Speaking of Android development, some experts do not hesitate to say that "Java is dying" especially that 20% of applications developed in Java before the Google conference in May 2017 are being rewritten in Kotlin.

Conclusion

Programming is a constantly evolving field and the Android development world is not left out. After experiencing mainly one language for its applications, it has welcomed a newcomer, Kotlin, who comes with some very interesting features. In view of the incredible evolution of the number of its users in recent months, this language could simply become a revolution. This article was intended to introduce you to this new tool and if there is any advice to give to those who would like to start in the Android development it will be simple: there is more time to lose, go from already in Kotlin.


Younes Derfoufi 

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