SBT vs Scala

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Finding the best server-side tool for building a personal information organizer that focuses on performance, simplicity, and scalability.

performance and scalability get a prototype going fast by keeping codebase simple find hosting that is affordable and scales well (Java/Scala-based ones might not be affordable)

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David Annez
Head of Engineering at loveholidays · | 4 upvotes · 200.8K views

I've picked Node.js here but honestly it's a toss up between that and Go around this. It really depends on your background and skillset around "get something going fast" for one of these languages. Based on not knowing that I've suggested Node because it can be easier to prototype quickly and built right is performant enough. The scaffolding provided around Node.js services (Koa, Restify, NestJS) means you can get up and running pretty easily. It's important to note that the tooling surrounding this is good also, such as tracing, metrics et al (important when you're building production ready services).

You'll get more scalability and perf from go, but balancing them out I would say that you'll get pretty far with a well built Node.JS service (our entire site with over 1.5k requests/m scales easily and holds it's own with 4 pods in production.

Without knowing the scale you are building for and the systems you are using around it it's hard to say for certain this is the right route.

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Decisions about SBT and Scala

We needed to incorporate Big Data Framework for data stream analysis, specifically Apache Spark / Apache Storm. The three options of languages were most suitable for the job - Python, Java, Scala.

The winner was Python for the top of the class, high-performance data analysis libraries (NumPy, Pandas) written in C, quick learning curve, quick prototyping allowance, and a great connection with other future tools for machine learning as Tensorflow.

The whole code was shorter & more readable which made it easier to develop and maintain.

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Pros of SBT
Pros of Scala
  • 1
    Support for publishing artifacts in Maven, Ivy formats
  • 1
    Works across Windows, Linux and MacOS
  • 1
    Support for Zinc and BSP
  • 1
    No Breaking Changes
  • 1
    Best for Mono-Repo and Multi-Project builds
  • 1
    Preference option to build Mix Scala-Java Projects
  • 1
    IntelliJ support
  • 1
    Continuous compilation
  • 1
  • 1
    Dependency manageemnt
  • 1
    Incremental Builds
  • 188
    Static typing
  • 179
  • 177
  • 172
    Scala is fun
  • 138
  • 95
  • 88
    Actor library
  • 86
    Solve functional problems
  • 83
    Open source
  • 80
    Solve concurrency in a safer way
  • 44
  • 23
  • 23
  • 18
    It makes me a better engineer
  • 17
    Syntactic sugar
  • 13
  • 10
    First-class functions
  • 10
    Type safety
  • 9
    Interactive REPL
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
    Implicit parameters
  • 6
    Case classes
  • 4
    Used by Twitter
  • 4
    JVM, OOP and Functional programming, and static typing
  • 4
    Rapid and Safe Development using Functional Programming
  • 4
  • 3
    Functional Proframming
  • 2
  • 2
    Beautiful Code
  • 2
  • 2
    Growing Community
  • 1
  • 1
    Rich Static Types System and great Concurrency support
  • 1
    Naturally enforce high code quality
  • 1
    Akka Streams
  • 1
  • 1
    Reactive Streams
  • 1
    Easy embedded DSLs
  • 1
    Mill build tool
  • 0
    Freedom to choose the right tools for a job

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Cons of SBT
Cons of Scala
  • 1
    Learning Curve is a bit steep
  • 11
    Slow compilation time
  • 7
    Multiple ropes and styles to hang your self
  • 6
    Too few developers available
  • 4
    Complicated subtyping
  • 2
    My coworkers using scala are racist against other stuff

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- No public GitHub repository available -

What is SBT?

It is similar to Java's Maven and Ant. Its main features are: Native support for compiling Scala code and integrating with many Scala test frameworks.

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.

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What companies use SBT?
What companies use Scala?
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What tools integrate with Scala?

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Blog Posts

Aug 28 2019 at 3:10AM


PythonJavaAmazon S3+16
DockerAmazon EC2Scala+8
What are some alternatives to SBT and Scala?
Gradle is a build tool with a focus on build automation and support for multi-language development. If you are building, testing, publishing, and deploying software on any platform, Gradle offers a flexible model that can support the entire development lifecycle from compiling and packaging code to publishing web sites.
C lang
Apache Maven
Maven allows a project to build using its project object model (POM) and a set of plugins that are shared by all projects using Maven, providing a uniform build system. Once you familiarize yourself with how one Maven project builds you automatically know how all Maven projects build saving you immense amounts of time when trying to navigate many projects.
Bazel is a build tool that builds code quickly and reliably. It is used to build the majority of Google's software, and thus it has been designed to handle build problems present in Google's development environment.
It is your shiny new Java/Scala build tool. It aims for simplicity by re-using concepts you are already familiar with, borrowing ideas from modern tools like Bazel, to let you build your projects in a way that's simple, fast, and predictable.
See all alternatives