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Natalya Brinza Project Manager

Java or Kotlin. Which Language to Choose and What are the Benefits of Both?


Java or Kotlin. Which Language to Choose and What are the Benefits of Both?

The sphere of programming is the always evolving and developing industry, which from year to years is modifying in a much more radical way. One of the most astounding innovations is, for sure, the creation of new programming languages, which are able to make the process of the development of applications and games much faster and more simple. One of the most recent changes is the creation of the so-called Kotlin language, which has a great potential to replace Java in the leading position in the list of the most popular and widely used programming languages for the creation of the Android applications.

After the emergence of Kotlin language in 2011 thanks to the efforts of the JetBrain developing team, lots of arguments and discussions were started within the community of the programmers and developers all over the world. The main idea of all of these discussions was the desire to find out, which particular language is better and which of them to choose Kotlin or Java, while examining the usability of both of them upon Android platforms. Due to this, in that article, I would like to arrange a comparison of kotlin vs java, while enlightening all of the benefits of Kotlina and all of those distinguishing features, which made it so special. Because of the fact, that Java is a pretty widely known programming technology, we are going to be focused on Kotlin here, while providing a detailed description of all of those features, that may influence on your decision to choose Kotlin rather than Java.

Why Java is declining in popularity?

Frankly speaking that question is not new at all and has emerged in the community of the users and developers a long time ago. To be honest, one of the main reasons why such a popular platform, which has been acting as one of the languages for the creation of lost of really nice applications becomes less popular is the level of its complexity. You may say, that programming is not really easy itself, and that is why all of the programmers are so clever. Maybe yes, that is true. However, it does not mean, that the modification of the languages, which are used for the creation of lots of apps and extensions should be bordered only be the technological aspects. Moreover, the evolutions of lost of features, which are directly linked to usability may also lead to the reduction of money and time, which are spent on the creation of a game or app. So, that might be a pretty simple explanation of the problem of Java, which despite of the fact of its usefulness remains a pretty complex and hard to understand language, which is not the easiest thing for the beginners to learn. But, these points do not mean, that Java is bad, of course no. Besides, it does not mean also that it is going to be vanished by others. Because of its great history and a crucial role in the whole cyber world it is hardly going to disappear. However, it also does not mean, that it is going to be used less and less frequently, what automatically leads to the emergence of lost of new competitors, while one of them is namely Kotlin. Thus, downstream I am willing to describe you all of the main features of Kotlin, which make it so different from Java.

choose Kotlin or Java

A piece of positive information about Kotlin

As usually any of the tools, which is gaining its popularity quickly, Kotlin has several of those benefits, which were able to attract the attention of the programmers and made them think on a decision to transit from Java to Kotlin. Due to this, here, in that passage, you may be able to see all of those features, which led to such a great fame of that language.

Achieve more with less code

One of the most bright and great advantage of Kotlin could be the existence of a really good typing system, which makes it possible to spend less time on coding, while still being able to make the same and even bigger amount of job. The general level of functionality in Kotlin has been rapidly increased that is why, now you are able to code less, but get even more, than previously. For instance, because of the fact, that now the amount of code is much smaller, you are going to face less mistakes and, as a result, spend much less money on the programming itself. Furthermore, because of the fact, that now coding process takes less, you become able to write a pretty big algorithm just in 3 or 4 lines, what is much better than in Java, where you were obliged to write really enormous pieces of text. Besides. now, in case of the usage of Kotlin you will definitely forget such function as:

  • Getters;

  • Setters;

  • Equals();

  • Hashcode();

  • toString() and others.

No more NullPointerException

In case if we compare Kotlin to Java, it is impossible to forget about such a benefit of a new language as the absence of a headache of any programmer, namely NullPointerException. When in 1965 that innovative decision was released its creators were not even able to think, that it is going to become one of the biggest problems for the programmers all over the world. However, a severe joke here is the fact, that NullPointerException was invented in order to make the programming process more simple and faster.

However, thanks to the fact, that the developing team of Kotlin has spend hours on the creation of the solution of such a problem, you will never see directly NullPointerException in case of working upon that particular system. So, simply speaking in case if you are having a code upon Kotlin and if your variable is nullable, the compiler will not permit you to access it without a proper check. This arrangement prevents an app from an accidental crash. In other words, the process of check of the code for errors was organized in such a way, that it could be launched automatically, what made the life of the programmers much easier.

comparison of kotlin vs java

You can get rid of Util classes

It is really hard to imagine a program or code with no util classes. This particular thing is one of the most important elements of any of an app or programme launched by a developer. However, util functions despite of their usefulness are pretty complicated to use due to the fact, that have too many really weak sides. However, in order to deal with all of the drawbacks of the Util classes, Kotlin decided to launch the usage of the extension functions. And, to be honest, here is the place, where we can say the truth is that Kotlin is better than java and that you can be 100% sure, that you are able to use Kotlin for a commercial Android project. You may be wondered, why am I so enthusiastic here. Simply speaking, it is really nice, that the developers made it possible for the programmers to specify classes on their own, while declaring the extensional functions, what is a great achievement for the reduction of time spent.

No more view binding

While providing Java vs Kotlin comparison we can not forget about such an important thing as the absence of View Binding. FindViewById() is a really complicated method, which is not the best part of the modern programming languages, however, thanks to the developers from the JetBrain company, we can forget about FindViewById() in Kotlen like about a terrible nightmare. Moreover, not only FindViewById() is a problem, but also the declaration of the variables is a pretty important problem. So, the developers were obliged to find a good way of dealing with all of these complications to make the life of the common users much easier and more simple. Despite of the fact, that such a method is still absolutely valid there is no need to write it down on your own in Kotlin, because of the fact, that the whole structure of the language is arranged in such a way, that allow you to make all of these operations automatically. For instance, in case if you are using the Android Extension FindViewById() function will be created automatically, what will help you to make the developmental process much easier. Moreover, after every access the identifier is going to be replaced with a totally new function.

Bottom Line

All in all, I believer, that we gave you enough information on all of the possible benefits and special features of a totally new language called Kotlin, while the decision on should you switch to Kotlin or not is going to be taken by you on your own. As you can see, Kotlin is really nice, but there are also various situations, when the usage of Java is completely unavoidable. Moreover, we do not have to forget about a widely known proverb, that an  old mule ploughs a straight arrow. So, the decision depends only on you. Anyway, I hope, that I was able to give you enough information, that will be able to help you in your searches and programming decisions.

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author Alexander Prokopiev Alexander Prokopiev
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