Scala vs Java

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Last updated on
31st May, 2022
Published
27th Aug, 2019
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Scala vs Java

Scala is a pure object-oriented programming language comprising of highly scalable functional programming language features. It is a general-purpose, high-level, multi-paradigm programming language. Scala, got it as a name after it's a feature called scalability that makes Scala unique from other programming languages. There is no concept of primitive data in Scala as everything is an object. The language is designed to exhibit common programming language in a more graceful, snappy, and type-safe manner.

Scala and Java are the two most used programming languages in the world. When Scala is compared with Java, Scala is relatively a new language. It is a machine-compiled language, whereas Java is an object-oriented language. Scala facilitates a multi-core work architecture environment with enhanced code readability and conciseness. Scala reduces the lines of code as compared to Java.

Differences between Scala and Java

1. Code type

The major difference between Scala and Java is a compact and concise code. In Scala, coding is reduced to the number of lines which is not a case about Java. The code that is written in Java can be written in Scala in half the number of lines. Scala makes use of ‘type inference’ very cleverly to treat everything as an object, pass the function, and several other features. 

2. Learning Curve

The learning curve of Scala programming language is steep as compared to that of Java. The coding in Scala can be very tricky to predict due to less coding. Also, the syntax in Scala is more confusing than Java.

3. Lazy Evaluation feature

One of the coolest features in Scala is the built-in ‘lazy evaluation’ feature which is not present in Java. This feature permits deferring time-consuming computation until it is required and you can simply make use of the keyword named ‘lazy’, as shown below the line of code:

lazy val lval = sum()
if (sum>=3) {
show (greater)
}
else {
show (smaller)
}

4. Readability

Scala consists of nested coding (functions inside a function, inside of an object, inside a class) which makes the code less readable than Java. Sometimes, it improves clarity but it can be really tricky if written poorly.

5. Operator Overloading

One more difference between Scala and Java is that Scala supports operator overloading. It allows a programmer to overload any operator in Java and creates new operators whenever required which is not in case of Java. Java doesn’t support operator overloading.

6. What are the Functions?

Another major difference between these two programming languages is that functions are nothing but the objects in Java whereas, in Scala functions are variables.

7. Backward-Compatible

Scala is not backward compatible, which means the code runs in the latest version only. Java is backward compatible, it allows code to run on older and newer versions also without any error.

Scala vs Java: A Quick Brief

To be more specific, let’s take a look at the tabular representation to understand how Scala is different from Java based on the factors:

ScalaFactorsJava
Scala is a combination of both object-oriented and functional programming.TypeJava is a general-purpose object-oriented language.
Readability is less in Scala.ReadabilityReadability is more in Java.
The process of compiling source code into bytes is slow.Code compilationThe process of compiling source code into byte code is fast.
Scala supports lazy evaluation.Lazy evaluationJava does not support lazy evaluation.
Scala is not backward compatible, which means the code runs in the latest version only.Backward CompatibleJava is backward compatible, it allows code to run on older and newer versions also without any error.
Scala support operator overloading.Operator Overloading featureJava does not support operator overloading.
In Scala, every method or function is treated as a variable.Function- typeJava treats every function as an object.
In Scala, variables are by default of immutable type.Variables-typeIn Java, variables are by default of mutable type.
Here, the code is written in a compact form.Code structureHere, the code is written in the long-form.
All the operators on entities in Scala are done by using method calls.OperatorIn Java, all the operators are treated uniquely and are not done with a method call.

To code better

This is all about the comparison between the Scala and Java programming languages considering various factors. Every language has its own features. It all depends on the programmers and organizations to select the language to develop any kind of product. Therefore, analyze your project requirements and choose the language accordingly.

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