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Re: [ljc] Why hasn't Scala and functional programming taken off

From: Michael B.
Sent on: Friday, October 4, 2013 1:26 PM
I'll add that in my experience at the Scala meetups, it's been gaining
momentum pretty quickly.

At the Guardian, when we went out 3 years ago and asked at Scala meetups
who had used scala at all, we got about 20%, and using it production it
was only us (in London, at Scala meetups).

At InfoQ last year, we asked the same question at a similar session and
around 50% of the room were using it in production in some way.  For a
relatively new language that's pretty astonishing growth.

I think our team at the Guardian were one of the earliest adopters
within a mainstream, non-technology industry, and that was primarily
because of the trust of our senior staff to let the technologists make
the technology decisions.  The most common question we got asked in the
beginning was "How did you convince your manager to let you use it", and
our stock reply was that we didn't, since it ran on the JVM, we didn't
need to let them know. (That's a simplification of course).

The points Martjin raised were all blockers for some organisations, the
backward compatibility was a real pain for a long time, especially in
the most common build tool.

You can probably find the presentation by either myself or Graham
Tackley from the Guardian on "How we moved from Java to Scala" online in
video form if you want more info.

Michael Brunton-Spall

On Fri, Oct 04, 2013 at 08:12:37AM -0400, Martijn Verburg wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
> So I'll stress that this is just my opinion but here goes, I love being
> wrong no the Internet ;-). Firstly, Scala is actually gaining traction in a
> number of places, just not in the "mainstream enterprise" that Java 5/6
> still dominates in. If you follow the RedMonk research on this, Scala leads
> the pack of 2nd-tier languages behind the front group of Java, JavaScript,
> Ruby, PHP, C/C++ etc. We're seeing a lot of small, dare I say it advanced
> teams using Scala effectively.
> 
> There are lots of reasons why it's not gaining traction more quickly:
> 
> * The tooling sucked early on, it's getting better
> 
> * They broke backwards compatibility a lot early on, they're getting more
> disciplined
> 
> * The language has the proverbial kitchen sink of features, means a larger
> variety of programming idioms and it means the code is harder to maintain
> down the track. e.g. Bob, Alice, Sue and Mohammed can all code perfectly
> valid and somewhat idiomatic Scala that solves the same problem but in
> wildly different ways. Unless they work closely together, common idioms
> don't form and Bob finds it hard to read Alice's code and visa versa. Yes
> Java can also be unreadable, but because many folks write it in an
> imperative manner, it's generally very readable.
> 
> * Small but vocal parts of the Scala community behaved in a pretty elitist
> and obnoxious manner "Oh well it's about Category Theory and Monads,
> clearly if you don't get that then you're an idiot". I'll stress that this
> never came from Martin & co who invented the language - he's as
> disappointed about that particular outcome as anyone else.
> 
> * See previous thread about difficulty of swapping paradigms when you come
> from a language like Java.  Not a Scala problem per say, but if you started
> with say Groovy which "feels" like Java then the transition is an easier
> one.
> 
> Now that I've added fuel to the fire I'll step away :-)
> 
> Cheers,
> Martijn
> 
> 
> On 4 October[masked]:52, Joseph Odanmen <[address removed]> wrote:
> 
> > Hello all,
> >
> > I have enjoyed reading comments on how to get into FP and Scala and
> > overcoming the habits of OO.
> >
> > For a while now and reading people's comments, it would seem Scala and FP
> > in general is a fantastic answer to the bottlenecks we have in OO,
> > particularly multi-threading.
> >
> > So my question is why hasn't Scala and indeed the FP approach to software
> > development taken off in mainstream and commerical software development?
> > Does Java have to fully FP to really get FP going? Scala isn't doing it.
> >
> > I would love to get into Scala and FP but quite frankly, it is hardly used
> > commercially.
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Joseph
> > Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone on O2
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on
> > this mailing list ([address removed])
> > http://www.meetup...­
> > This message was sent by Joseph Odanmen ([address removed]) from LJC -
> > London Java Community.
> > To learn more about Joseph Odanmen, visit his/her member profile:
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> > Set my mailing list to email me
> >
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> >
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> > Meetup, POB 4668 #37895 NY NY USA 10163 | [address removed]
> >
> >

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