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What is HAML?
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Scala is the God of languages. A legend. The Mount Rushmore of hybrid OO/functional languages is Scala's face four times over.
Ok, honestly, we love Scala. We love(d) Java (and it's parents C and C++), and we love(d) all the languages that borrowed cough stole cough from Java over the years such as Groovy, Clojure, and C#.
It may not be perfect (it totally is, but since programming languages don't have egos of their own, we don't want to paint it too bright), but it is awesome. It runs on the JVM, you can utilize Spring, it works great for data processing (which is sorta kinda the thing we do here, folks), and it just makes sense at all levels.
Personally, I really like HAML. Not having to use open and close tags is a huge time saver. As a result, writing markup with HAML is much more pleasant. HAML essentially forces you to be very strict about spacing, organization, and structure. It also makes the markup easier to read. Protip: I use this pretty frequently: htmltohaml.com
Nearly our entire server codebase is written in Scala (if you haven't heard of it, it's a programming language that is basically what you would get if Java + ML had a baby). This has worked out super well. It enables us to write concise easy to deal with code that is typechecked at compile time. It's also been a big help with recruiting.
worked with scala for around 2 years. really enjoyed the language and getting back into the world of functional. unfortunately the community is heavily fragmented and the language itself broken and inconsistent. that with the various factions involved made it a put of for long term investment.
Scala, Akka and Spray (which became Akka-Http) provided the building blocks for the menu service.
Akka's actors and finite-state machine were a natural way to model a USSD menu (a series of stateful interactions between a subscriber and the USSD gateway).