Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Andrew has been pretty enthusiastic about Scala, which he is using for his new factor graph inference library, FACTORIE. I've been reading the new Programming in Scala to learn more. I've not written any Scala code yet, except for a "Hello world" to test the Eclipse plugin. I like the improved conciseness compared with Java, the functional programming facilities, the more uniform object system, the more consistent data structures, the pattern matching facilities. I'm still unsure about the syntax, which feels a bit too clever at times, and skeptical about the use of type-erasure semantics for generics, which has many pitfalls in my experience with teaching and using Java. However, the Scala designers seem to be well aware of the problems with (at least Java's version of) type erasure and are exploring ways of addressing them.