Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Scala's premature release

Back in August 2010, Martin Odersky raised eyebrows by stating that "Scala is foremost an industrial language". We commented on this triumph of hope over reality at the time, citing Scala's poor IDE support as a major headache for industrial users that had deterred us from adopting this academically-interesting programming language.

This rookie mistake of marketing a product months before it is ready is all too common. Several of our young client companies made the same mistake. One had even been paying an entire sales division not only salaries but bonuses for over a year before their first product was released!

The problem is not just the wasted marketing effort but that potential customers are deterred by their bad experiences with the immature product. This is reflected in Jonathan Edwards' recent article "Switching to Plan J", where he writes:

"My experiment with Scala is not working out. It’s just not ready for prime time..." - Jonathan Edwards

and others echo the sentiment:

"I’ve found exactly the same thing..." - Nat
"I agree with every point you made in this article... Tools are awful, even though years have been spent developing them." - Mark
"...plagued by continuous problems..." - Roy Batty

Martin Odersky now says that he is "painfully aware of the Eclipse issues" and Scala Solutions are working to produce reliable IDE support for Scala but he also admits that Emacs has been his IDE of choice for Scala development.

Hopefully the potential users who have been disappointed by today's Scala will try the language again once a first attempt has been made to address core issues like the reliability of the IDE support.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Size of industrial F# code bases

Almost exactly a year ago, we published a blog post stating that we had 345kLOC of production OCaml code and 171kLOC of production F# code. Today, we have 261kLOC of production F# code!