Today I am gonna talk about my current favorite programming language.
Right, I am literally in love with this as I have tried it while developing an Android project and then I decided that I am gonna tell you guys how it can help you achieve all the features and functionalities you want.
Kotlin is one of the most popular as well as a recently trending programming language which is used for Android App Development. Kotlin language is officially supported by Google which comes with a wide range of functionalities.
As per my personal experience, Kotlin provides you the ease of use, to implement separate functionality from business logic using the extensions, and the best is it save the hours of development.
According to me, it would be the language of choice for moving forward in Android.
It is developed by JetBrains, the company behind the most popular Java IDEs.
Kotlin uses the Java Virtual Machine for the compilation, so it can be used side-by-side with Java. Besides, developers consider Kotlin to be a safe and concise programming language.
So, let’s get started by defining some key aspects of Kotlin language and by presenting tips on how you can save time by using it instead of Java.
Kotlin is very easy to learn, it is also very effective in the way it codes the application.
Developers don’t need to spend a lot of time in perceiving this language. The most attractive feature of Kotlin is that it reduces the length of the code.
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If we compare it to the commonly used Java, you can say the same thing with less number of lines. The coding reduces approximately 20% than Java.
With less number of code, it provides the best quality and services. Basically, it makes coding simple and testing almost perfect.
Treat for the Java Users
If you know how to code in java than Kotlin is just a piece of cake for you.
Get 100% Interoperability
The thing I loved the most Kotlin is that you can call a Java code from it. You can do the vice versa without any efforts.
With the help of JVM Kotlin also generates bytecode, so there is no fear that you are delivering something different with Kotlin.
The great thing is you can start using it with your existing project, with your Java code.
Its interoperability is a true blessing for the Java coders.
Killing The Billion Dollar Mistake
Kotlin’s system type eliminates the null reference from a code which is known as The Billion Dollar Mistake.
Null-safety is a feature that has been combined into the Kotlin language and is so implicit you will not have to bother about.
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The way it works is that it first checks for the value if it is null or it is not then only it performs the next operation.
The best characteristic is that it doesn’t compile a code that assigns or return null.
Extensions and Extension Functions
Kotlin, alike C#, gives the ability to extend a class with new functionality without having to inherit from the class or use any type of design pattern such as Decorator. This is done via special declarations called extensions.
With the help of extensions,lk you can simply kill the need to have utility classes, and can really improve the readability of the code.
Kotlin supports extension functions and extension properties. Extension functions enable you to combine extra features to your current component, which makes it simple to add easy yet effective features. This is ideal for the calculations as well as for adding strings.
This allows you to increase the functionality without modifying the major code. To cut it short, with extension function, you can extend any class, even if you don’t have access to the code.
Lazy Load Feature
Lazy load feature has many benefits such as faster start-up time since loading is delayed until the variable is accessed.
The aim of Android app developers is normally to reduce startup time, so users can reach its content faster. The particular loading of resources is more memory-efficient too.
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As I mentioned earlier that lazy loading is also memory efficient, as we only load the resources into memory if it is called upon. Memory usage is very important on the mobile platform like Android since phones have restricted, shared resources.
Data Classes & Default Parameters
Scope and necessity of class have always been a talking point for the language designers. If we talk about the data class in Java, it has tons of boilerplate code which is why one requires to skip while finding out the real use of that class.
Though, you can write a similar Java code in a very modest manner and save tonnes of typing and mental struggles.
In Kotlin the default parameters are pretty handy when you pass the arguments by the name rather than an index. You can see the benefit when there is a function with a number of optional parameters.
The feature lateinit in Kotlin allows you to initialize non-null properties. This is normally equipped towards null safety. It enables you to handle methods as if they are not null with a common syntax.
By default, all variables in Kotlin are considered non-null, you have to explicitly declare them null if you want to.
Though, if you want a Null Pointer Exception throws just similar in Java then you can use The!! operator.
If we look deeply into it, Kotlin does not have static variables and methods. It does not have this concept instead it introduces the idea of companion objects.
These objects are singleton objects within a class which contains the methods and variables you might need to access in a static form.
Similar to Java, a companion object enables defined constants and methods. And the additional advantage is that with companion object you can follow the newInstance pattern of fragments.
Normal Typecasting results in an exception in Android App development. Though, safe typecasting is no doubt required to mainly for creating a fragment in an Activity.
A standard way of creating a fragment in an Activity is to initially check and see if it exists already, using the fragment manager. If it doesn’t you require to create it and combine it to the Activity.
Summing it up, Kotlin gives you the ability to save your time when you write native Android app by using an intuitive and short syntax. Though it’s still a young language, I think it will stay in the market because of its unique features.
The benefits which you get such as support of Android Studio is seamless and remarkable. It reduces the effort of converting an existing Java project to Kotlin.
And the best treat for Java programmers is that they can use Java and Kotlin in the same project. Not only this, there is no speed overhead in the application.
If you will take a deep look into Kotlin you would realize that Kotlin solved the tons of Java’s pain points and how the features of Kotlin makes the Android App Development more fun.
With the help of Kotlin, you can write more effective and expressive code with a fewer number of bugs.
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