Kotlin: A New(-ish) Kid on the Block

An introduction to a hip new alternative to Java. It’s all the rage in android development!

In this article, we’re going to introduce a programming language that’s getting a lot of buzz: Kotlin. Kotlin is about six years old now, young by programming language standards, but it has the distinction of being one of the only languages officially supported for Android development! It’s even being used by companies like Pinterest and Coursera for their Android apps, which is pretty impressive for such a relatively young language!

Kotlin was developed by JetBrains, the company behind IntelliJ which is one of the big development tools for Java, to be a language that can function as a drop-in replacement for Java. Kotlin is meant to address some of the complaints people have about Java, many of which are related to how infamously verbose it is.

Kotlin is based on the same framework as Java, though, which is the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and all the library code that comes with it. A virtual machine is a lot like an emulator for an old video game, except that instead of having a program that pretends to be a Super Nintendo running on your computer it’s a program that pretends to be an imaginary computer whose only job is to run something called JVM bytecode.

 

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