Dual upgrade for Scala

Scala IDE for Eclipse 2.1 M1 released, taking big leaps

The people behind Scala at Typesafe sure have been busy the JVM language over the past few months. Progressing the language has long been on the agenda, as has improving Scala's own IDE for Eclipse. Well, both got upgraded, so to speak, over the weekend with Scala 2.9.2 released and the first milestone for Scala IDE 2.1 appearing too.

Acting as a sneak preview for what is to come, Scala IDE 2.1 Milestone 1 shows the direction the team want to go after Scala IDE for Eclipse 2.0, saying on their website:

While the goal of V2.0 was to provide a reliable environment for your Scala coding, with V2.1 we want to bring your Scala development experience to a whole new level.

So, with the foundations laid down, what's pushing the envelope this time round for Helium? New features such as implicit and semantic highlighting are certainly welcomed, showing the best of what Scala can achieve and bringing it closer to what Scala is all about.

There's also the inclusion of move refactoring, meaning that you can now move a source file between packages or extract a class/object/trait definition (from a file with multiple definitions) and move it to a new location. Crucially without a lot of legwork in previous versions and this solves one of the most demanded features. There are some limitations with this, as it only works with Scala code so far.

The team have also been listening to the community using the IDE, providing better debugging support. Four incredibly useful additions to the arsenal for the Eclipse IDE which is available only for Scala 2.9 and works with Eclipse 3.7 (Indigo). The team tested it using Java 6, but Java 7 can be used with some caveats. If you were unsure previously, now is a good time to test the water, now it has the IDE has been given a big boost.

Big things lay ahead for this IDE as the team say they will create an API 'to ease the development of plugins on top of the Scala IDE' with the hope of bringing more developers and projects alongside it. The signs are encouraging.

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Elsewhere in Scala-land, there's also the final version of Scala 2.9.2 to look at. Although only a maintenance release, this version fixes an  "out of memory" error when running under the JDK on Windows 7. To check all that is new and all that is fixed, read the release notes, as well as downloading the stable release.

Chris Mayer

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