Why I’m excited about Kotlin
I recently read about Google App Engine Standard’s support for Java 8 and noticed an “alternative” language named Kotlin is also fully supported. I’d heard about other JVM languages like Clojure, Groovy, and Scala but this was the first I could recall hearing about Kotlin.
After a brief overview, I knew I wanted to try out a small example and figured a minimal App Engine app would be a good start. Before getting into that, I want to talk about what I found immediately interesting about Kotlin.
First class functions
No checked exceptions
One of the most annoying aspects of Java code is having to weed through superfluous exception handling due to the overuse of checked exceptions. I’m glad to see another language that has taken a position against them.
Java has its supporters and detractors, but the JVM itself has far greater support and is widely accepted as a reliable and performant application base for many use cases. I haven’t worked with any JVM languages other than Java and I’m looking forward to experiencing JVM development within a different ecosystem.
Official Android support
The reference is full of great examples and explanations for certain language features. While covering the features, structure, syntax, and other necessities, it also serves as a basic guide on writing idiomatic code. Reading through the documentation is pleasant and inspiring. This gives me confidence in the language and in my ability to learn to apply it in an elegant fashion within a reasonable time frame.
A minimal App Engine app using Kotlin.