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Scala, a Statically Typed, Functional, O-O Language 299

inkslinger77 notes a Computerworld interview with Martin Odersky on the Scala language, which is getting a lot of attention from its use on high-profile sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn. The strongly typed language is intended to be a usable melding of functional and object-oriented programming techniques. "My co-workers and I spend a lot of time writing code so we wanted to have something that was a joy to program in. That was a very definite goal. We wanted to remove as many of the incantations of traditional high-protocol languages as possible and give Scala great expressiveness so that developers can model things in the ways they want to. ... You can express Scala programs in several ways. You can make them look very much like Java programs which is nice for programmers who start out coming from Java. ... But you can also express Scala programs in a purely functional way and those programs can end up looking quite different from typical Java programs. Often they are much more concise. ... Twitter has been able to sustain phenomenal growth, and it seems with more stability than what they had before the switch, so I think that's a good testament to Scala. ... [W]e are looking at new ways to program multicore processors and other parallel systems. We already have a head start here because Scala has a popular actor system which gives you a high-level way to express concurrency. ... The interesting thing is that actors in Scala are not a language feature, they have been done purely as a Scala library. So they are a good witness to Scala's flexibility..."

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