The Scala Center opens its doors
Scala’s new initiative dubbed Scala Center was launched today. The not-for-profit center was established at EPFL and is independent from the Scala research group (LAMP). Its activity focuses on open source and education.
Scala creator Martin Odersky and Scala team member, Heather Miller, announced today the creation of the Scala Center, which will function as an open source foundation for Scala. The new initiative is meant to engage with developers in the open-source community in the effort to improve not only the language, but also its tools and documentation. Thanks to its variety of open online courses, seminars and other activities, the Scala Center aims to help developers learn the language. In short, this initiative’s mission is to independently guide and support the Scala community, coordinate and develop open source libraries and tools for the benefit of all Scala users and to offer deep, and quality, educational materials for Scala.
Why do we need a Scala Center?
According to the announcement, over one million developers are now using Scala. The language’s burgeoning number is reflected not only in Google’s search trends, but also in the number of open Scala jobs. The diversity of projects built on Scala and the considerable user base point to the various demands on the language and its tool set.
The Scala Center will consult with the user community, define common goals, and organize contributions and its own resources to attain these goals. Scala is different than other languages in the sense that it combines functional and object-oriented programming elements. According to the Scala creator and Scala team member, it requires some conscious investment in learning the language to reap most of its benefits. At the same time, it is more than just internalizing syntax as it generally deeply affects the way developers think about their activity.
A new Scala mini-degree will soon be offered on Coursera; it will be composed of four courses (with two new courses) taught by Martin Odersky, Heather Miller, Viktor Kuncak and Aleksandar Prokopec, as well as one capstone project.
Additional roles of the Scala Center
One of the Scala Center’s roles is to help and compliment existent entities in the Scala ecosystem; Lightbend (formerly known as Typesafe) will continue to maintain and evolve the stable Scala distribution. The Center will also help in making open source libraries more discoverable using a package index and will step up to assume the evolution of projects of common interest, subject to its available resources.
One project which enjoys not only people’s attention, but also pledges of funding is Scala.js. According to the blog post, “the Scala Center should be a logical platform to put this great work on a more stable basis.”
The Scala Center is backed byEPFL, a renowned research university in Lausanne, Switzerland, a number of industries which depend on Scala on a daily basis, and a large number of individual members of the Scala community. Those who have time or funding to contribute, and would like to be part of the Scala Center, can join the team in the Scala Center gitter channel and get involved.