Kotlin: The Alternative to Java
Why use Kotlin instead of Java? Check out this post where we explore the benefits and interesting features of Kotlin and why it's easy to make the switch.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
In this article, we will be covering a programming that which you might have heard of called Kotlin.
What Is Kotlin?
Kotlin is an expressive programming language with a strong type system. It is so concise that it looks like a rationalized version of Java. Additionally, it has lambdas, coroutines, properties, and many other features that allow you to write less code with fewer bugs.
Kotlin has really started to take off, but it’s actually been around since 2011 and open sourced in 2012. Later, it was developed by JetBrains Version 1.0 back in 2016.
Until May of 2017, Java and C++ were the only languages supported for Android development. But since the release of Kotlin, it had been announced as the official language for Android at Google I/O 2017. Now, it also includes IntelliJ and Android studio 3.0+ out of the box.
Kotlin contains both objects and functional constants. You can use Java and Kotlin side by side. Hence, you can start using it with your existing Java projects. And, you can easily migrate to Kotlin, as IntelliJ and Android Studio provide a handy converter that helps you convert your existing Java code to Kotlin.
I know that most of the developers love Java, but this is easy to use because it compiles directly to the JVM. And, it combines both functional and object-oriented programming features. By using this, you can get rid of NullPointExceptions, you know that you can avoid the billion dollar mistake.
Kotlin also protects you from operating on nullable types, and if you can check that a type is right, the compiler will auto-cast its type for you. Moreover, you can’t miss using Kotlin for your next project. Just give a shot!
Why Should I Use Kotlin Instead of Java?
1. It’s Seamlessly Integrated With Android Studio!
You can start working with Android Studio within minutes. Because it is so easy to set up — even if you don’t have any idea about working with Kotlin — you just have to install the plugin. And then, you can start using right away. This is very handy.
2. Kotlin Is Multi-Platform
Since it is developed from a JVM perspective, Kotlin can be used on all devices that run the JVM — not just Android. Also, it can be used for front-end development. This is also what you can use to write Gradle files. Moreover, Kotlin Native is open for all platforms.
3. Concise Code
By using this, you can reduce the amount of code used — write less, do more. Unlike Java, Kotlin can understand written code better, which makes it more efficient and productive. It also saves a lot of time.
4. Easy Learning Curve
Kotlin has an easy learning curve — you can start writing and understanding it even if you don’t know any Kotlin beforehand. Now, as you can see, Kotlin is very user-friendly.
5. Much Safer Than Java
As all Java developers are tired of
NullPointerException and since Android uses
null to represent the absence of a value, placing
null directly in its type system allows Kotlin to solve this problem.
6. It Costs Nothing to Adopt
As we know, Kotlin is open source and high quality. With the single click, you can convert your Java code to Kotlin. As a result, it takes nothing to switch your existing project from Java over to Kotlin
7. Data Classes
The life of every developer becomes easier with the introduction of new data classes, as we can write classes in just one single line of code. With this, you can get rid of boilerplate code since we usually don’t want to maintain, and the compiler in Kotlin does the same for us.
8. Full Java Interoperability
One of the best features of Kotlin is that it has interoperability with Java, and thus, it attracts more Java developers to learn Kotlin. It also uses Java tools and libraries, while providing backward compatibility for Java versions 6 and 7.
9. Swift Is Like Kotlin
Swift is pretty much like Kotlin. If you have worked in Swift, then it will be easier for you to adapt Kotlin. Here is some basic similarity between the syntax of Swift and Kotlin.
That’s all for today! I hope that you now have a basic understanding of Kotlin and its features. Make sure to choose it for your next project; Kotlin makes it easier for developers to create apps! Let us know your favorite Kotlin features in the comments below.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.