Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Scala programming language

I took a look at Scala last year and set it aside, but this weekend I was looking at the Computer Language Benchmarks Game and noticed just how fast Scala is because it compiles efficiently to the JVM (I dream of JRuby approaching this speed but this will not happen because Ruby is not a staticly typed language and has other nice language features that are harder to optimize)

I am very happy now doing most of my work in Ruby (and/or JRuby) but I am keeping Scala in mind for possible future projects where Ruby is too slow. I find the syntax and language features pleasing and the Scala interactive REPL shell is nice. There is some initial NetBeans 6 and TextMate Scala support, but still works in progress.


Charles Oliver Nutter said...

There's actually not many reasons why a dynamically typed language like Ruby can't be made to perform well like Scala. Given that the JVM itself is already largely a dynamic language VM, we must just find ways to deliver to the JVM code it can optimize. This may certainly be easier for statically-typed languages, but it is by no means impossible to do for dynamic-typed languages.

Mark Watson, author and consultant said...

Hello Charles, thanks for the comments. The existence of very high performance Lisp compilers is proof that dynamic languages can be very efficient. In any case, I very much like developing in Ruby so I look forward to performance improvements of both JRuby and CRuby that will make situations where I need to use Common Lisp or Java rare events.