Wednesday, September 15, 2010

JavaOne 2010 Abstract of the Day #11: A Brief Introduction to Scala

Scala has received significant positive press in recent years.  The main Scala page describes Scala as "a concise, elegant, type-safe programming language that integrates object-oriented and functional features" that is "fully interoperable with Java."  As this description states, Scala supports object-oriented concepts and functional programming concepts.  A couple years ago, I spent a few hours reading about Scala and found it interesting, but I've never really taken the opportunity to really use it.  I'm thinking it may be a good time to give Scala a second look and am looking forward to the JavaOne 2010 presentation "A Brief Introduction to Scala" (S314144) to kick that effort off.  Steven Reynolds is currently scheduled to present "A Brief Introduction to Scala" at 2 pm on Thursday, September 23, in Parc 55's Mission.  Here is this presentation's abstract:
Scala is a relatively new programming language for the Java virtual machine that interoperates nicely with Java libraries. Scala is statically typed, so the resulting applications are fast and reliable. Scala is more powerful than Java while offering a simpler conceptual model. Many of Scala's features come from the functional programming paradigm. This session will not be a comprehensive coverage of Scala, rather the coverage will be selective. This talk will not assume any Scala knowledge. 
After this talk, the audience should:
* Understand the Scala type system 
* Understand Scala traits and inheritance 
* See how functional programming is relevant and used in Scala 
* See how Scala actors are used for concurrency
When I initially looked at Scala, I mostly focused on its syntax and similarities and differences with Java.  I think what might really interest me about Scala now is its functional programming support and its dealing with concurrency via actors.  The abstract indicates that these two areas will be covered in this presentation.

Reynolds has presented a presentation of the same title ("A Brief Introduction to Scala") at the Houston TechFest 2009.  He has made the PDFs of the slides and associated examples available for download at his homepage. Although there are numerous presentations on JVM languages that will reference Scala (such as Polyglot Programming in the JVM), it is nice to have a presentation that provides an overview and focus on Scala that also "will not assume any Scala knowledge."  Another interesting Scala-focused presentation, "Scala and Clojure: JVM Languages", was previously canceled.


Steven said...

Thanks for the nice writeup, I hope the talk lives up to expectations. Probably 50% of the slides have changed from the 2009 talk, and 100% of the examples.

Dustin said...


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and to describe the changes in this presentation. I know when I've given presentations on the same topic in different conferences, I have not been able to help myself in avoiding adding and changing them, so it does not surprise me that there is so much new content in your JavaOne version. I'm looking forward to your presentation.