15 October 2008

October's Bay Area Scala Enthusiasts Meetup

Tonight I attended a meeting of the Bay Area Scala Enthusiasts, a user group focused on the Scala programming language. The meeting was held at Twitter's office in San Francisco, only a few blocks from my company's office, so it couldn't have been more convenient for me. I expected to encounter around 5-10 people there, but I was surprised when around 30 had gathered. The Scala community is definitely growing!

Alex, Steve, and Robey from Twitter hosted the meeting, and explained how they are using Scala at Twitter. They are using it both in middleware and in front-end code and seem to be committed to expanding its use in Twitter-- good things for Scala and Twitter both. Their main presentation focused on establishing a set of coding conventions for the Scala community, which I think could be a really good help for new programmers to have some structure. Robey showed us some of his open source code up on github, including configgy, which I plan to take a serious look at soon.

Some other interesting discussions at the meeting included preferred development environments and strategies to deal with the paradox of being paralyzed by having multiple ways to accomplish the same thing in Scala, usually at least a functional and an object-oriented way of doing things. The concensus seemed to be that each group will ultimately end up with their own style or Scala programming, somewhere between the extremes of writing Java in Scala or Haskell in Scala.

We also learned that there are no less than three Scala books in the works:
  1. Programming in Scala by Odersky, Spoon, and Bill Venners (who was also present and shared some good stories about his experiences in the language as well as the origin of the "/:" operator)
  2. Programming Scala: Tackle Multi-Core Complexity on the Java Virtual Machine by Venkat Subramaniam
  3. Programming Scala by Alex Payne and Dean Wampler, published by O'Reilly
Notice a pattern in the titles?

All in all, a great meeting where I meet some very interesting people. It's great to see the community of Bay Area Scalists so... well, Enthusiastic :)

Added exact authors of the new O'Reilly Scala book.


bfpais said...

New Scala books? That's just great!

Apart from the above books, I think I have heard of a major publishing firm preparing one more Scala book for the following year...

tautologico said...

It's great to know that there will be 2 more books about Scala, and it looks like they will be good.

One correction though: the link to the Stairway book by Odersky, Spoon and Venners is wrong, it's pointing to the second book by Venkat Subramanian.

Kevin Albrecht said...

Thanks, I updated the link.

johnyboyd said...

Thanx for the notes. Looking forward to more detailed ones, if forthcoming :)