Kotlin – cutting-edge programming language

We continue to tell you about the technologies that Filio Force Inc. specialists use in their work. In this article we are going to talk about one of the youngest programming languages, developed just over a decade ago.

Kotlin is an object-oriented language. It offers static typing, which ensures that errors can be detected at the compilation stage. This is an advantage when developing complex and large projects. Kotlin is one of the fastest growing programming languages, allowing you to develop applications for iOS and Android mobile systems, web applications, server-side and cross-platform solutions. Kotlin is pragmatic and flexible. This language is popular with both experienced programmers and beginners. This is because its structure is very clear.

Compact and versatile

Kotlin is a concise language created in 2011 to replace the verbose Java language. However, it is not just another language, but a complete ecosystem. It includes the language itself, a basic toolkit and libraries. This set is called Common Kotlin. Filio Force developers often use this language to build software for customers.

The new language is 40% more compact than its predecessor. At the same time, Kotlin is fully compatible with Java. This means that Java frameworks and libraries can be used in Kotlin applications. Kotlin runs on top of the Java Virtual Machine. This means that Kotlin can run on any server running Java.

This language is primarily designed to simplify and speed up the development process for Java users. Both languages and common libraries can be used in the same project. At the same time, Kotlin code is more compact and safer.

The developers intended Kotlin to be a universal language. In principle, Kotlin can be used anywhere Java works. The main areas of use for Kotlin are mobile and server-side development. Unlike Java, Kotlin can be used to build applications not only for Android, but also for iOS using Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile, a software development tool designed to simplify the creation of cross-platform applications for mobile devices.

But Kotlin can also be used to write desktop software, for data science, and even in the front-end, although JavaScript reigns supreme here. The point is that Kotlin can be compiled into JavaScript. Such a version can be used to build a frontend. This means that it is quite realistic to write both logic and interface in it – a web application in its entirety.

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What are the differences between Kotlin and Java?

Java and Kotlin are interoperable languages. In fact, they are very similar: both are statically typed, support object-oriented programming, and run on the Java Virtual Machine. You can even mix their functions and classes in some development environments. Let’s look at how these languages differ.

There are four key differences between Kotlin and Java

  • Kotlin is protected from NullPointerException. Java programmers are well aware of this problem, which is the cause of frequent crashes in Google Play applications. The error occurs when code tries to access an object whose value is null. Unlike Java, all variables in Kotlin are non-null by default. The Null Safety function is responsible for this. To assign the value “null” to such a variable, it is specially marked.
  • Coroutines. These are used in conjunction with Java’s multithreading and asynchrony mechanisms. Coroutines are used to prioritise data loading, which minimises the time it takes to start an application. This is exactly what is needed in mobile development.
  • Extensibility. In Kotlin, you can easily extend a class to add new parameters using special extension functions. This is not possible in Java.
  • Speed. Applications written in Java compile faster than those written in Kotlin. But if you do not rebuild the whole project, but only modified parts of it, Kotlin builds even faster thanks to a special mechanism.

In fact, there are many other features that make Kotlin development easier, faster and safer. At the same time, Kotlin code is more readable and shorter than Java. Filio Force’s development team offers assistance to small and large companies in developing and modernising applications written in Kotlin.

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