Scala vs Java – Feature Wise Comparison Guide

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Scala vs Java

While Java and Scala are both names common to the house, what separates them? Each has its own pros and cons. Let’s find out what are they in this Scala vs Java tutorial. We will see the Scala vs Java performance, advantages of Scala over java and visa versa so that you will and why Scala or Why Java when you are to choose any one language.

So, let’s start Scala Vs Java Tutorial.

Similarities in Scala and Java

First, let’s see how they’re similar.

a. Object-Oriented

Both languages are object-oriented. They can let us model the real world.

b. JVM-Based

Both Java and Scala run on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). While Java source code compiles into byte code that runs on the JVM, so does Scala.

In fact, languages like Scala, Groovy, and JRuby, all hold similarity to Java. This is crediting to the fact that they all use the same memory space, type system, and run inside the same JVM.

c. Typing Discipline

Scala is a statically-typed language like Java. It is also strongly-typed. In Python Programming, the type for an object is decided at runtime. This is duck-typing. So, Python is dynamically-typed, but Scala and Java are statically typed.

d. No NullPointerException

Java has no pointers; Scala has no Null. Scala will not give you a NullPointerException as C++ will, but Java may. Since Java uses pointers internally for implementing references, it is indeed capable of throwing a NullPointerException.

e. Programming Paradigm

Both Scala and Java are multi-paradigm and are imperative(uses statements that change a program’s state) and concurrent.

If you face any difficulty in the Scala vs Java Tutorial, Please comment.

Do you know What are the Features of Scala?

Differences Between Scala vs Java

Now, time for the differences. What makes Scala different from Java? Let’s list it out.

a. Verbosity

We’ve lost count on how often we’ve vented over how verbose Java really is. It takes you four lines to execute what a language like Python will do in just one. With Scala, you’ll only need to write about one-third the amount of code you’ll write for Java for the same thing. To put our money where our mouth is, we’ll just go with the simple “Hello, World!” program.
This is it with Java:

public class HelloWorld
public static void main(String[] args)
System.out.println(“Hello, World!”)
And then, this is it with Scala:
object HelloWorld extends App
println("Hello, World!")

Indeed, Scala is very concise.
Winner: Scala

Do you know Why Java Is Important?

b. Readability

Although Java is too verbose, it is more readable than Scala. Why? Because Scala can get too nested at times. Imagine a function inside a function inside another, inside an object inside a class.

Our brains aren’t calibrated to that less a level of abstraction. Java is nested too, but lesser than Scala.
Winner: Java

c. Compile Time

Scala compiles source code to byte code slower than Java does. Sometimes, it may even take up to an hour if you don’t work on a super-fast processor with a bundle of cores. However, a faster compiler is under development.

For Java, the javac compiler turns the source into byte code. For Scala, it is the Scala compiler.
Winner: Java

d. IDE Support

Java has a myriad of IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) available to aid you with development. Major names include Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ. Actually, IntelliJ is the one we’ll be using for Scala in this whole tutorial series. Other IDEs like NetBeans and Eclipse do support Scala, but not that effectively.
Winner: Java

e. Programming Paradigm

While Java is a multi-paradigm, object-oriented language, Scala is multi-paradigm and functional. It supports functional-programming features like currying, type inference, immutability, lazy evaluation, and pattern-matching. However, it also supports object-oriented programming.

f. Multi-Core CPU Architecture

Java believes in adding more CPU cores instead of increasing the CPU cycle. Scala, however, makes use of a multi-core architecture to support a functional programming paradigm.

Let’s Discuss the Scala Advantages & Disadvantages

g. Read-Evaluate-Print-Loop (REPL)

Like Python, Scala believes in REPL, unlike Java. This lets developers explore and access their datasets. It also allows them to prototype their applications easily, without a full-on development cycle.
Winner: Scala

h. Operator Overloading

Java does not support operator overloading. But Scala will even let you create your own operators.
Winner: Scala

i. Simplicity and Learning

Java is simply easier to learn. Since Scala supports features like operator overloading, and uses a lot of nesting, it makes it much messier to learn Scala. Users may confuse between operators and their meanings when one operator can have multiple. Scala code looks repulsive on first look.

Winner: Java

Read: Scala Control Structures – A Comprehensive Guide

j. Lazy Evaluation

Lazy evaluation is something Scala supports, but Java doesn’t. What this means is that it delays complex computation until absolutely necessary. For this, it uses the keyword ‘lazy’. Let’s take an example.
Load an image only if you must, since it is a slow process. We can apply lazy evaluation on this:

lazy val images=getImages()
//Do whatever, without loading the image

Winner: Scala
Any doubt yet in Scala vs Java Tutorial? Please Comment.

k. Backward Compatibility

With a language that is backwards-compatible, code written in a newer version runs without a problem on all older versions. Java is this way; Java 8 code will run on all older versions. This isn’t the same with Scala.
Winner: Java

l. Chances of Errors

Because Scala supports operator overloading, it has a higher risk of programming errors than does Java.
Winner: Java
Read: How to Install Java in Windows & Linux

m. Debugging

Java is much easier on the programmers with debugging. It lists out all errors with full traceability, and double-clicking an error will take you to its exact location in the source. In Scala, tracking errors from the stack trace is a pain in the head.
Winner: Java
So, this was all on Scala vs Java Tutorial. Hope you like our explanation.

Conclusion: Scala vs Java Tutorial

Now that you know what sets both languages apart from this article on Scala vs Java, have you made your mind, to begin with, Scala? See you next. And remember, every language is beautiful.

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5 Responses

  1. Juliediext says:

    Good post! I read your blog often and you always post excellent content. I posted this article of Scala vs Java on Facebook and my followers like it. Thanks for writing this!

  2. LuisaHer says:

    whoah this blog on java vs Scala is great i love reading your posts. Keep up the great work!

  3. krishna chowdary says:

    Java throws NullPointerException.

    • DataFlair Team says:

      Hello Krishna,
      Thanks for the comment. Internally, Java uses pointers for implementing references, and hence, is capable of throwing a NullPointerException. Thanks for pointing it out, we have corrected the same in the blog.
      Keep Visiting DataFlair

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