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Scala vs JAVA

POSTED ON OCTOBER 25, 2018 BY Shaveta Chawla

Scala:On the contrast.

We know Java is the most popular, industry preferred and career scoped programming language. It has been on top and uncontested for years, because of its versatility, strength and capacity to handle complex tasks. We may think is there anything better the Java? Some may be surprised to know that Scala is the one. Scala is not quite as new as thought, having first been introduced in 2003. Scala is a type-safe language that incorporates both object oriented and functional programming into an extra logical and powerful language. However, it is particularly within the past few years that Scala has begun to develop significance.

In contrast, Scala was created specifically with the goal of being a better language, ripping those aspects of Java which it considered restrictive, overly hectic, or annoying the developer. As a result, there are indeed code distinctions and pattern shifts that can make early learning of Scala programming a bit more difficult, but the result is a much cleaner and well organized language.

This article explains the similarities and difference between Scala versus Java (since Scala is written torun in the Java Virtual Machine)and also helps understand why one should go for Scala over Java.

Scala vs. Java: Which is Really More Complex?

While the simplicity of the Java language has been part of its success, strongly, it has also contributed to its complexity. Programming in Scala, on the other hand, has a slightly more complex structure than Java. But if we can write a slightly more complex single line of code that replaces 20 “easier” lines of Java, which one is really more complex?

The truth is that Java uses more lines of code then necessary. In Scala, the compiler is incredibly smart, so this avoids the developer needing to specify explicitly those things that the compiler can conclude. Compare, for example, this simple program in Java vs. Scala:

Example Program in Java:

public class ThisIsJava
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		System.out.println("This is JAVA Code");

Example Program in Scala:

object ThisIsScala
	def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = {
		println("This Is Scala Code!")

While there’s not a huge distinction between the two languages here, Scala uses less keywords than java in this simple example.

Scala and Java: Similarities

Following are some of the major similarities between Scala and Java programming language:

  • Scala and Java are JVM based language, Scala produces same byte code as Java and runs on Java Virtual Machine. All JVM language like Groovy, JRuby, Scala becomes equals to Java, because they use same type system, memory space and run inside the same Java Virtual Machine.
  • We can call Scala from Java and Java from Scala, it offers seems less integration. However, we can reuse existing application code and open source Java libraries in Scala.
  • Major Java programming IDE like Eclipse, Netbeans and InetelliJ supports Scala.
  • One more similarity between Scala and Java is that both are Object Oriented, Scala goes one steps forward and supports functional programming concept, which is its core strength.

Scala and Java: Differences

  • First and Major foremost differencewe will notice between Scala and Java is brief and clear code. Scala reduces the number of lines from a Java application by making clever use of type inference, treating everything as an object, function passing, and many other features.
  • Scala is designed to express common programming patterns in concise and type-safe way. The language itself encourages to write code in immutable style, which makes applying concurrency and parallelism easily.
  • One more difference between Scala and Java is that Scala supports Operator overloading. we can overload any operator in Java and can also create new operators for any type, but as weknow, Java doesn't support Operator Overloading.
  • Another major difference between Java and Scala is that functions are objects in Java. Scala treats any method or function as they are variables. Which means, we can pass them around like Objects.we might have seen the code, where one Scala function is accepting another function. In fact, this gives the language much more power.
  • Let's compare some code written in Java and Scala to see How much different it look:

Example Program in Java:

ListiList = Arrays.asList(2, 7, 9, 8, 10);
ListiDoubled = new ArrayList();
for(Integer number: iList){
	if(number % 2 == 0){
		iDoubled.add(number  2);

Example Program in Scala:

valiList = List(2, 7, 9, 8, 10);
	valiDoubled = iList.filter(_ % 2 == 0).map(_  2)

We can see that Scala version is lot succinct and concise than Java version.

Scala and Java: Performance

According to many websites, Scala is faster than Java. Many programmers even claim that Scala is 20% faster than Java. Both these programming languages run on Java Virtual Machine. So their code must be compiled into bytecode before running on Java Virtual Machine. But Scala compiler supports an optimization technique called tail call recursion. The optimization makes the Scala code compile faster than Java code. Hence, coding in Scala is ultimately easier to use and increases productivity.


Hence, we seen above Scala vs. Java and we have tried to cover a simple view of Scala Similarities and Differences over Java. Scala makes for what it takes to run the project, we must definitely explore it, should give it a try.

For Further Reference:




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