Looking slick

Major new release for Scala world as version 2.11 goes live

JAX Editorial Team

Faster and more compact, this new drop promises to open the door for users who want to tap into the power of Java 8.


Typesafe JVM language Scala has now reached
version 2.11. According to the release notes (which you can peruse
in full

), the Scala 2.11.x series targets Java 6, with
“evolving” experimental support for Java 8.

This new incarnation of Scala is sleeker and
slimmer, with the standard library within the Scala core shedding
20 percent of its bytecodes. Additionally, the Scala compiler has
modularized internally to separate the presentation compiler,
scaladoc and the REPL, which the team hopes will  help
facilitate contributions from the robust community around the JVM

There has also been a major change to Scala
macros, with the addition of quasiquotes, which Eugene Burmako
states is, “the single most impressive upgrade for reflection and
macros in Scala 2.11.0.”

Overall, there have been 613 bug fixes for Scala
2.11, and 112 people have been involved in hauling the whole
shebang together. Other improvements include a clarification to
software license, which should resolve issues
caused by earlier modifications.

Although many hailed the lambda-packed March
release of Java 8 as a potential Scala killer, as Ahmed Soliman
noted, lambdas in Java simply cannot touch those

already in Scala
- at best, they are
“scratching the surface”. Moreover, closing the gap between Java
and Scala is ultimately a positive for the users on both sides. As
Ahmed says, what we have now is “two languages that can play even
nicer together now and
Typesafe (the company
pushing Scala) is actually
about Java 8
as some of us are.”

If you’re still not sold on functional programming, we
recommend checking out this interview with ThoughtWorks’ Neal Ford.
Here, he explains why learning functional programming paradigms is
now so critical for developers.

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