Scala Advantages & Disadvantages | Pros and Cons of Scala
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In this Scala Tutorial, we will learn Scala Advantages & Disadvantages. A great power comes with knowledge of what you can or can’t do with what you have. So, let’s discuss the places where Scala wins and fails. But remember, overall, a language always wins.
Here, we start with the Scala benefits and limitations.
2. Scala Advantages & Disadvantages
In this Scala Tutorial, we will explore benefits and limitations of Scala Programming Langauge.
A. Scala Advantages
What makes Scala special? What sets it apart from other languages? In Scala Advantages, we will explore the answers to these questions. So, let’s discuss them one by one:
i. Easy to Pick Up
Coming from an object-oriented background with Java or another such language, Scala’s syntax appears familiar. This makes it easier to pick up than languages like Haskell. Also, it is much more concise than Java. Where Java would need nine lines of code to perform an operation, Scala would only take about three, in most cases. This aids productivity.
ii. Pretty Good IDE Support
It is one of the most popular Scala Advantages. Many functional language communities usually favor editors like Emac or Vim. But contrary to what many developers think, Scala has a pretty good lineup of IDEs:
a. IntelliJ IDEA
Most developers consider this to be the best IDE for Scala. It has great UI, and the editor is pretty good. However, the Scala presentation compiler may unusually be slow to load an auto-complete list working with a relatively large project. This is because they rewrote the compiler to integrate with their platform. You will also need to purchase the ultimate edition if you want to be able to handle all your works with IntelliJ. It isn’t completely free and open-source. The Ultimate version also provides support for Less/Sass.
To see how to set it up on your machine, refer to Scala Environment Setup.
b. Scala IDE
The Scala IDE is based on Eclipse, as it says in the image. It provides more efficient support for Scala than does IntelliJ. It is able to handle big projects with accuracy and efficiency compared to other IDEs. Sometimes, you may have to deal with false positives, hiccups, and rare bugs. Other limitations include medieval block selection, and that changing the workspace loses the configuration.
c. Emacs (ENSIME)
This provides the richest support for Scala in Emacs and is more modern than Vi. It supports a wide range of languages and frameworks, and it is possible to customize it and build our own version.
d. Atom (ENSIME)
While not as geeky as Emacs/Vi, it is a good editor built on top of web technologies. However, you may have to face more bugs than in Emacs.
Others include Vi, Sublime, and Visual Studio Code.
‘Scala’ is a portmanteau of ‘scalable’ and ‘language’, as we’ve discussed. So, scalability is definitely one of biggest Scala advantages. This means we can use it to build highly concurrent, fault-tolerant systems. For this, we can use the multiagent concurrency model like in Language Erlang in Akka.
iv. Mixins, Open Classes, and Monkey Patching
Some other facilities you will get with Scala are mixins(traits), open classes, and monkey patching. Using mixins, you can carry out multiple inheritances.
v. Great for Data Analytics
Scala can be a great choice for data analytics with support from tools like Apache Spark, among others. A lot of huge companies make use of Scala for their products and services.
vi. Highly Functional
Scala is highly functional in paradigm, is one of the unique Scala advantages. It is a language that treats its functions as first-class citizens. This means we can say that it has first-class functions. In other words, it lets us pass functions as arguments to other functions, and to return them as values from other functions. It also lets them assign them to variables or store them in data structures. Hmm, this seems pretty much like everything is an object in Python. Ring a bell?
And if you face problems trying to solve one functionally, you can always switch to object-oriented. Like we’ve seen in collections like Sets and Maps, there is a mutable collections library to complement immutable collections in Scala.
vii. Inherently Immutable Objects
If you’ve worked with Java, you have faced quite some thread-safety concerns with your applications. Scala reduces these risks.
viii. Scala is Fun!
What is life without a challenge to beat, a purpose to pursue? Scala puts engineers face-to-face with challenges in an entertaining, yet teachable way.
And if you must encode documents in your products, Scala will let you do so use XML (Extensible Markup Language).
ix. Better Developers
Good Scala developers also do better with Java. They pick up programming practices like functional programming and can apply those to other languages like Java Programming Language.
x. Better Quality Code
With functional programming, you are more likely to end up with fewer lines of code and fewer bugs. This means higher productivity and higher quality.
We complete all important Scala Advantages, let’s move to Disadvantages of Scala Programming Language.
B. Scala Disadvantages
What keeps Scala from reaching the top? What issues could you face if you choose it as the language for your next project? The answers are a bit subtler:
- Since with Scala, you can always switch back to an object-oriented paradigm. So, it doesn’t force you to think functionally. You can think of this as a double-edged sword.
- Being a hybrid of functional and object-oriented can sometimes make type-information a bit harder to understand.
- Since it runs on the JVM, it has no true tail-recursive optimization. As a workaround, you can use the @tailrec annotation for partial benefits.
- Scala has a limited developer pool. But while it is easier to find Java developers in numbers, not every Java developer has what it takes to code efficiently in Scala.
Whether to consider some of these as limitations is up to you.
So, this was all about Scala Advantages and Disadvantages Tutorial. Hope you like our explanation.
Hence, we studied Scala Benefits and Limitations and we have tried to cover a broad view of it in our Scala Advantages and Disadvantages Tutorial. Which language doesn’t? That said, each language is beautiful. And if Scala makes for what it takes to run your project, you must definitely explore it, give it a try. If you have any queries regarding Scala advantages and limitations, please comment.
See Also- Scala Functions