Looking slick

Major new release for Scala world as version 2.11 goes live

JAXenter 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 here), 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 language.

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 the 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 excited about Java 8as 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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