A java developer impressions on Kotlin


A. Are you saying that JetBrains has no interest in fixing the Eclipse plug-in?

The development of the Eclipse Plug-in slowed down, because the main developer was given another task. But JetBrains said that the development should go on.

B. The programming staff I work with uses Eclipse for a variety of workflows, in several programming languages. For a variety of reasons, we have no interest in changing to IntelliJ. If we have to stay with Java to stay with Eclipse, we will.

That is understandable. Personally I prefer IntelliJ, but I know enough developers that are happy with Eclipse. I don’t think that it was JetBrains driving motivation to “lure” programmers into their camp. However, they don’t say “no” to a new customer who was attracted by Kotlin. The main problem is that the Eclipse community didn’t pick up the initial work from JetBrains. In the long-term Kotlin for Eclipse has to be community driven.


I agree. Next thing, people will come and ask about VIM plugin. The kotlin team is not very large and kotlin as a language already have much better tooling support than most of new languages. So it is probably better that the team focuses on language improvement. and not on side projects.Besides, the main vector for language development in nearest future is Android (I sincerely hope that kotlin developers won’t limit themselves to Android though), so it is more or less is tied to Android studio and therefore to IDEA.

My point of view could be subjective since I do not like Eclipse (neither IDE, nor ideology). I worked with NetBeans for a while, but it is mostly dead now.


At the moment, my main qualm with Kotlin is tooling support, specifically in Eclipse with WTP which provides Java EE support.

To make Kotlin really successful JetBrains needed to supply a Kotlin plugin for eclipse that is close in functionality to the Kotlin plugin for IntelliJ. Seriously, because the main hindrance for many people to using Kotlin is that the eclipse plugin is on a too low feature level. Many development teams use entirely eclipse and they won’t change to Kotlin if they can’t continue to use eclipse.

So it might sound like a paradox and I can understand that JetBrains also needs to make money (and you don’t make money with programming languages), but to make Kotlin a big success the Kotlin eclipse plugin needs to be brushed up.


I totally agree with you, Oliver! Since Eclipse still has a market share of about 40 %, not supporting Eclipse propertly leads to something like a “negative network effect”, where you can not start using Kotlin, because some developers in your team are using Eclipse.


Well are you familiar with the term "Worse is Better"
The smartest, most advanced language, is not always the one that is most used

And I would argue, the reason behind “Worse is Better” is, that is seems that most Programmers
prefer to use Simple Tools and Complex Code, than Complex Tools and Simpler Code (note I said Simpler not Simple)

Complex tools, can make code look Simpler, because the complexity is hidden or encapsulated in the Complexity of the tool itself … it seems this isn’t what most programmers prefer

I agree with most of the criticism of Scala and Clojure … that they are too different and complex
When it comes to Ceylon and Groovy … I really can’t tell why they are not more popular … maybe it is just luck

Jetbrains, seems to be pushing Kotlin …
and Jetbrains doesn’t abandon it products quickly … look at MPS it is still being developed and improved … this is why I don’t think investing in Kotlin would be a bad bet … but still of course, don’t bet too much on it
Kotlin, is still a new and emerging technology … so their effort may or may not work


There is one very important advantage of making a bet on Kotlin. The advantage is that the compiler and standard library are open source and, more importantly, are licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. What this means is that if for some reason JetBrains stopped supporting Kotlin completely or decided to stop support on a particular platform, any user or community of users can pick up the source and move forward without fear of copyright or patent litigation. Many folks are wise not to trust the owners of C# and Java, regardless of what the PR shops at MS and Oracle say.