2017-05-21 Update

The big news in the JDK space this week is that Android now supports Kotlin. See this page, on the Android site and this post on Hacker News. So I will start learning Kotlin.

I don’t want to turn into one of those Scala weenies who goes on about how much they hate Java (see Note 1 below), but Android development was always pretty ghastly. Lots of XML, lots of anonymous inner classes (at least the last time I looked).

When Java started, it was basically: We took C++, and removed the hard parts you don’t like. Android is pretty much: We are using Java, but mostly the hard parts you don’t like.

I might look into React Native and ClojureScript at some point. But for now I am going through the Kotlin koans. Back when I was living in Chicago (back when Google told you to use Eclipse for Android), I spoke to a mobile developer who wrote apps for both Android and iDrone. He did not use any of the Javascript wrappers. He said the best way to do it was to just do it the way Google and Apple tell you to do it.

Maybe I will love Kotlin, but to be upfront I am not too happy with it at the moment. It is kind of a competitor to Groovy. I have spent a lot of time with Groovy, and I wish that it had more traction. But the world isn’t going to change for me. A lot of people at my job think every gosh darn thing has to be in a Word file. We make a web app for our client, why not make one for ourselves? But whatever.

There is no Kotlin group in Austin at the moment. Officially, there is a Groovy group, but there hasn’t been a meeting since January. The past two companies that hosted are no longer give the group the space. The group organizer works for OCI, the company that supports Grails. He works with clients all over Texas. I guess there is more Groovy out there than people think. Groovy is one of those languages where the user group is full of people who think the language is great, but their companies won’t even look at it. At the last meetup when he said he works with companies large and small all over Texas,  everyone got pretty excited. But he couldn’t give out any more info because of NDAs.

I know this sounds like I am not oozing with enthusiasm about leaving a language I like for one that I do not know very well. Frankly, at this point, I am not. But it looks like this is where the world is going. Kotlin had already gained a lot of momentum on Android before this (more than Groovy, certainly). If Google is willing to listen to its developers, then maybe Google is a vendor to pay attention to. Unlike Shiny-Wrapper-Microsoft (aka Apple).

Kotlin does have some similarities to Scala, which I do not like, so we will see how this all goes.

So, not a whole lot on the Clojure front.

I am still going through Simply Scheme.

You’re welcome.

Note 1: I always found Scala developers’ hatred of Java odd for two reasons: 1. The language you say you love was/is implemented in the language you say you hate, and 2. Why does Javascript get a complete pass from everybody?