What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a statically typed multi-paradigm language designed quite simply as a better alternative to Java. Like Java, it compiles to bytecode that runs on the Java virtual machine, but Kotlin provides a more concise syntax and language features loved by modern developers. Like type inference, functional patterns, and more, it was announced in 2011 by JetBrains, with the first stable release coming in 2016. It’s named after Kotlin Island in Russia and it just got a mascot in October 2021. One of its key features is that it can interop with existing Java code, which means developers can gradually adopt it without throwing all of their code in the garbage.

In addition to JVM, Kotlin can also compile native code and JavaScript, opening the door to multi-platform apps. It’s been most influential in the Android development community and as of 2019, Google named it the preferred language for Android development over Java. One of its killer features is coroutines, which provide a simplified way to write asynchronous non-blocking code. A common requirement for mobile developers to get started. Create a file ending in dot KT. Most Kotlin developers use something like IntelliJ IDEA which is an IDE brought to you by the same company that invented the language. This is where your code will start executing. That syntax is a lot more fun to write than public static void main string args. Declare a variable with the var keyword, assign a value and its type will be inferred automatically. Or you can add a colon after the variable name with an explicit type. A variable can’t be null unless you explicitly allow it with a question mark on the type. Now use the print line to log the variable to the standard output. Notice how semicolons are optional, which means that line breaks are significant. Kotlin supports familiar object-oriented patterns but can do special functional things that Java cannot, like modifying the behavior of a class without inheritance using extension functions. Functions are first-class objects, which means they can be stored as variables passed as arguments or used anonymously with lambdas. Scotland also reduces boilerplate with things like data classes, so you don’t have to write constructors, getters, and setters and supports restructuring when accessing the values on an object, allowing you to write concise, efficient code that you can then compile to a jar file by pulling up the terminal and running the Kotlin compiler.

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