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IntelliJ IDEA leaps ahead for Scala development

Posted on February 17, 2009, in Programming

Much of my work is in Scala or Haskell. Lately, it is mostly in Scala. Sometimes I have the unfortunate imposition to use Java by a false authority. This is where Functional Java is handy – in an attempt to make Java somewhat practical, even if only to a small degree.

JetBrains has granted Functional Java an open source licence to use their IntelliJ IDEA. I recently downloaded the 8.1 version and started working on some of the Scala components of Functional Java.

It is pleasing to have a usable IDE that is easy to install on my 64-bit Linux machine. It is more pleasing that the Scala plugin has all the required fundamental features and few bugs. I also use a 32-bit machine running Linux and it was just as much a breeze to install and use there. Of course, I do not use Compiz on these machines, since it screws up swing applications. I do, however, use xmonad window manager, which boosts productivity quite a lot.

The Scala plugin has the much desired “Go to declaration”, is able to report many compile-time errors – though not all and I expect I push Scala a bit harder than many others in terms of finding quirks in the language. It has many other features – some of which need a bit of work, but many of which are significantly ahead of other IDEs, particularly when it comes to stability.

Thanks JetBrains for making it viable to use advanced programming concepts in a capable programming language.