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Java vs Scala: What are the differences?

Developers describe Java as "A concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, language specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible". Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!. On the other hand, Scala is detailed as "A pure-bred object-oriented language that runs on the JVM". Scala is an acronym for “Scalable Language”. This means that Scala grows with you. You can play with it by typing one-line expressions and observing the results. But you can also rely on it for large mission critical systems, as many companies, including Twitter, LinkedIn, or Intel do. To some, Scala feels like a scripting language. Its syntax is concise and low ceremony; its types get out of the way because the compiler can infer them.

Java and Scala can be categorized as "Languages" tools.

"Great libraries", "Widely used" and "Excellent tooling" are the key factors why developers consider Java; whereas "Static typing", "Jvm" and "Pattern-matching" are the primary reasons why Scala is favored.

Scala is an open source tool with 11.8K GitHub stars and 2.75K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Scala's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Java has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2399 company stacks & 2723 developers stacks; compared to Scala, which is listed in 437 company stacks and 324 developer stacks.

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What is Java?

Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!

What is Scala?

Scala is an acronym for “Scalable Language”. This means that Scala grows with you. You can play with it by typing one-line expressions and observing the results. But you can also rely on it for large mission critical systems, as many companies, including Twitter, LinkedIn, or Intel do. To some, Scala feels like a scripting language. Its syntax is concise and low ceremony; its types get out of the way because the compiler can infer them.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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C
Abstract
Abstract builds upon and extends the stable technology of Git to host and manage your work.
Go
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
Python
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
Kotlin
Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for the JVM, Android and the browser, 100% interoperable with Java
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Avatar of datapile
datapile uses ScalaScala

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.

If you don't like Scala, we feel sorry for the projects that are suffering due to your choices, meanwhile we are using Scala to write everything from JavaScript, CSS, SQL, and JSON directly within itself (go figure), so in the end no one will know the beauty of this powerhouse language (except for our engineers, of course).

Avatar of Brian Fults
Brian Fults uses JavaJava

Pretty much everything - Java is reasonably fast, reasonably safe, and reasonably expressive. I wouldn't call it the best at any of those things. The real advantage to me is that the virtual machine is ubiquitous and many people can understand it. Since I have the most experience in this language, it's my tool of choice for most projects.

I've also been learning JavaFx so that I can build user interfaces without the web. I've started several single-page-application projects that worked, but felt like workarounds or hacks and would be better-served as self-contained applications.

Avatar of denkbar.io
denkbar.io uses JavaJava

Do I really need to explain? Well to me, the most appealing factor in Java besides the unbelievable community and vast array of available libraries, is just the amount of effort that has been put in the modern JVM. Decades of optimization and improvements have lead to a terrific piece of technology. I admire the people contributed to that.

Avatar of Foursquare
Foursquare uses ScalaScala

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.

Avatar of papaver
papaver uses ScalaScala

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.

Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses JavaJava

Shouldn't surprise anyone, as minecraft is also java-based. Java is used for much more than just the plugins though. JCVortex (our API) is also served with vert.x (Java) and many of our team-internal tools also originated from java or are still java-applications.

Avatar of Stanislaus Madueke
Stanislaus Madueke uses ScalaScala

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).

Avatar of Giovanni Candido da Silva
Giovanni Candido da Silva uses ScalaScala

Replaces entirely the Java Language to build a much more expressive and powerful code on the backend, while leveraging at the same time the Java Platform Tools and Frameworks, is a mixture of old and mature with new and sexy.

Avatar of Web Dreams
Web Dreams uses JavaJava

The most popular language in the world, definitely every programmer would use the Java language at some point. Frankly, I only use java when it’s a must. I find the language to be a little bit tedious when working with it.

Avatar of brenoinojosa
brenoinojosa uses JavaJava

bytelore.com makes extensive use of Java in its applications. We use Java due to its performance, community and the number of other projects built in the language. We have many projects and libraries built in Java.

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