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Kotlin, the programming language of Android that we use in Geographica

by Inma Alcón 7/Mar/2019

Kotlin is since 2017 a programming language officially recognized by Google for the development of Android applications. In 2011, the Czech company JetBrains announced this language and, thanks to its features and advantages, it has surpassed Java.

At Geographica, we program our different solutions using Kotlin. The degree of satisfaction with the results obtained through its implementation is such that currently our team of developers works with it on a daily basis to create our applications for Android.

HOW IS KOTLIN BORN?

The Kotlin language embryo emerged in 2011, when JetBrains programmers sought to replace Java in Android projects. It was created on the basis that it was a language with the characteristics of Scala, but without the penalty of the compilation time of it.

In 2012, it became an open source project under the Apache License and in 2014; a directory of exercises was published to learn this language. Finally, its first stable version, Kotlin 1.0, was released on February 15, 2016.

KOTLIN FEATURES

It is an object-oriented language, strongly typed; it is executed in the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) which also makes it 100% interoperable with Java. We can use Kotlin on the server, on the web, on iOS, etc.

ADVANTAGES OF PROGRAMMING WITH KOTLIN

For Android, the main advantage is that apart from its memorable features and versatility when it comes to programming, Google supports it, and that led to Android Studio (also created by JetBrains) is fully adapted to use Kotlin.

It greatly facilitates Android programming, as evidenced by its learning curve, much better than Scala’s. There are multiple resources to learn Kotlin, such as the different tutorials and resources provided by the official website. In addition, it is highly recommended to read the book by Antonio Leiva, a pioneer in Spain in this language.

Another advantage that Kotlin gives us is that it combines Object Oriented Programming with Functional Programming. The last works with mathematical functions as a tool for solving the problem to be solved.

We can also highlight that it is more concise, since it greatly reduces the repetition of code, with the saving of time and resources that this entails. Having fewer lines of code is easier to read and understand. As a result, an error is less likely to arise and, if committed, is easier to detect. For all this, we are also talking about a more secure language.

Following with the errors, thanks to Kotlin we can forget about the NullPointerException. These are dealt with one type of error that arises when we declare a variable without having previously created the object that is associated with it. Possibly the most frequent error in Java and thanks to Kotlin can be reduced to almost zero.

Kotlin is considered as tool-friendly, since it allows working with any development environment that supports Java.

kotlin

The appearance of Kotlin has meant a turning point in the development of applications. Its multiple features and its advantages over Java, which makes forget its limitations, made Google adopt it as the main language for Android in 2017.

In this last recognition had much to do the community of developers of applications for Android, since they were those who adopted it over Java.

The rapid and successful expansion of Kotlin can be verified by looking at the study “The State of Kotlin 2018”, written from a survey among professionals in the sector. From this report, we can highlight conclusions such as the fact that 32.1% of the developers of a company work with Kotlin and that 46.8% have adopted this programming language since Google recognized it as official for Android.

The growth of Kotlin is appreciated in the fact that very popular applications base their development on it, as is the case with Pinterest. In Geographica, we are aware of all the value that this programming language provides, applying it in the creation and implementation of our geolocation tools and solutions.

TAGSandroidGeographicakotlin

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