Developers
July 22, 2020

Kotlin vs Java: Which one to use

Different languages, different features, same purpose.

Today we will talk about two major languages. We will describe them and its differences so you can choose what best fits your use case.

Kotlin, like Java, can be used for multiple purposes. Mobile cross-platform, Server Side, Native, Web development, and Android. It is mostly used for Android development, as Android studio has inbuilt support for them.
Unlike Java, Kotlin does not count with checked exceptions, meaning that you don’t need to declare exceptions. If the developer doesn’t like to use catch blocks, then Kotlin might be what is looking for.

Java (object-oriented programming language) programs execute in a Java Virtual Machine. With this, we can run the program on multiple platforms and devices.

Kotlin is a relatively new programming language that is known for its modern features. Kotlin is a statically typed language. Kotlin is widely recommended for server-side development.

Kotlin, a concise language

We can see how concise Kotlin is by comparing the classes. Kotlin classes need less code in comparison to Java classes. The same result is achieved with less development.

To solve intensive CPU work, Java creates background threads. However, if for some reason the developer manages multiple threads, this leads to errors in the code and high complexity.

In Kotlin, we can use these threads but they are different. They are named coroutines, and they work to solve the same issue. The benefit of coroutines is that they demand less memory usage.

Kotlin allows you to extend a class via a function. This cannot be done in Java. You can create these extensions by prefixing the name of the class to the name of the function created.

Kotlin, being a statically typed language, uses many function types. It includes specialized language constructs, one of them, the lambda expressions. These types of expressions are known are function literals, as they are not declared but written directly as an expression.   

One of the things developers less like about Java is the NullPointerExceptions.  You can assign a null value to any variable, but if you use an object reference that is a null value, then it is a NullPointerException. In Kotlin, all types are non-nullable. You can't assign a null value to a variable.

In Java, before casting an object, you have to check the type. Kotlin counts with smart casts feature. It manages automatically the casting. It is already checked with the “is operator”

In Kotlin, you can add more than one constructor despite the primary constructor. You include them in the class declaration. Java doesn’t allow this.

Java, 20% faster compilation

The very well used Java ternary operator is not available in Kotlin. This operator works similarly to an if statement. The operator returns two values, always depending if the condition is true or false.

Java allows wildcard types, Kotlin doesn’t. The wildcard types are unknown types. They are used as local variables or parameters.

Java compiles 20% faster than Kotlin. Both take its time to compile, but Kotlin is relatively slower than Java.  

Despite all the differences between the two programming languages, they are interoperable. They both compile to bytecode. You can call one language from the other, both ways, Java from Kotlin, and Kotlin from Java.

These two languages are leading programming languages in Android. Both languages are also used for other purposes, but for Android, they are widely used. One thing not many developers do, but that can be done and it has high efficiency, is using both languages. Many prefer to choose one language and stick to it, but you can definitely build applications with the use of both.

If you take a closer look at Kotlin, it has many frameworks that can help you develop in a better way. You can pair your application in Spring (also Java framework), you can use Ktor, a multi-platform toolkit for web development, among other services. It also counts with a fully developed IDE.
Java counts with many frameworks and IDE´s, it is a much more used language and we can't compare the size of each other. The resources for Java are much more. This doesn’t mean it's the language you should choose, as many still choose Kotlin for several reasons.

In conclusion, which language should you choose? Kotlin or Java? The question will have to be answered by you. Today we provided you some information so you can take a closer look at both languages in comparison. There are things that Java accepts and Kotlin doesn’t, such as Wildcard Types and ternary operators. There are things that Kotlin accepts and Java doesn’t such as extending a class via a function. Despite you would think you have to choose one, one available option is using both, making the best of both worlds and empowering your development with the best tools available. Both languages count with many resources and frameworks that can help you develop in the best way possible.

TagsKotlinJavaProgramming Languages
Lucas Bonder
Technical Writer
Lucas is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Article Writer about Technology.

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DevelopersJuly 22, 2020
Kotlin vs Java: Which one to use
Different languages, different features, same purpose.

Today we will talk about two major languages. We will describe them and its differences so you can choose what best fits your use case.

Kotlin, like Java, can be used for multiple purposes. Mobile cross-platform, Server Side, Native, Web development, and Android. It is mostly used for Android development, as Android studio has inbuilt support for them.
Unlike Java, Kotlin does not count with checked exceptions, meaning that you don’t need to declare exceptions. If the developer doesn’t like to use catch blocks, then Kotlin might be what is looking for.

Java (object-oriented programming language) programs execute in a Java Virtual Machine. With this, we can run the program on multiple platforms and devices.

Kotlin is a relatively new programming language that is known for its modern features. Kotlin is a statically typed language. Kotlin is widely recommended for server-side development.

Kotlin, a concise language

We can see how concise Kotlin is by comparing the classes. Kotlin classes need less code in comparison to Java classes. The same result is achieved with less development.

To solve intensive CPU work, Java creates background threads. However, if for some reason the developer manages multiple threads, this leads to errors in the code and high complexity.

In Kotlin, we can use these threads but they are different. They are named coroutines, and they work to solve the same issue. The benefit of coroutines is that they demand less memory usage.

Kotlin allows you to extend a class via a function. This cannot be done in Java. You can create these extensions by prefixing the name of the class to the name of the function created.

Kotlin, being a statically typed language, uses many function types. It includes specialized language constructs, one of them, the lambda expressions. These types of expressions are known are function literals, as they are not declared but written directly as an expression.   

One of the things developers less like about Java is the NullPointerExceptions.  You can assign a null value to any variable, but if you use an object reference that is a null value, then it is a NullPointerException. In Kotlin, all types are non-nullable. You can't assign a null value to a variable.

In Java, before casting an object, you have to check the type. Kotlin counts with smart casts feature. It manages automatically the casting. It is already checked with the “is operator”

In Kotlin, you can add more than one constructor despite the primary constructor. You include them in the class declaration. Java doesn’t allow this.

Java, 20% faster compilation

The very well used Java ternary operator is not available in Kotlin. This operator works similarly to an if statement. The operator returns two values, always depending if the condition is true or false.

Java allows wildcard types, Kotlin doesn’t. The wildcard types are unknown types. They are used as local variables or parameters.

Java compiles 20% faster than Kotlin. Both take its time to compile, but Kotlin is relatively slower than Java.  

Despite all the differences between the two programming languages, they are interoperable. They both compile to bytecode. You can call one language from the other, both ways, Java from Kotlin, and Kotlin from Java.

These two languages are leading programming languages in Android. Both languages are also used for other purposes, but for Android, they are widely used. One thing not many developers do, but that can be done and it has high efficiency, is using both languages. Many prefer to choose one language and stick to it, but you can definitely build applications with the use of both.

If you take a closer look at Kotlin, it has many frameworks that can help you develop in a better way. You can pair your application in Spring (also Java framework), you can use Ktor, a multi-platform toolkit for web development, among other services. It also counts with a fully developed IDE.
Java counts with many frameworks and IDE´s, it is a much more used language and we can't compare the size of each other. The resources for Java are much more. This doesn’t mean it's the language you should choose, as many still choose Kotlin for several reasons.

In conclusion, which language should you choose? Kotlin or Java? The question will have to be answered by you. Today we provided you some information so you can take a closer look at both languages in comparison. There are things that Java accepts and Kotlin doesn’t, such as Wildcard Types and ternary operators. There are things that Kotlin accepts and Java doesn’t such as extending a class via a function. Despite you would think you have to choose one, one available option is using both, making the best of both worlds and empowering your development with the best tools available. Both languages count with many resources and frameworks that can help you develop in the best way possible.

Kotlin
Java
Programming Languages
About the author
Lucas Bonder -Technical Writer
Lucas is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Article Writer about Technology.

Related Articles