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    @colin - what about this release in particular is especially of interest to the lobsters community?

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      I for one work in Linux, Windows, and macOS, and I’m definitely interested in learning about Visual Studio as much as Xcode or that Vala post.

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        I do too! And so am I! I was sincerely wondering if there was anything in particular that made this release special or noteworthy.

        This wasn’t a “Windows SUX keep yer crap off mah lawn!” comment :)

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          From what I hear the performance gains are significant. Universal search is improved. More C# refactorings. F# 4.6 support for Visual Studio.

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            Got it! Sorry, I’m so used to anti-Microsoft attitudes I’m practically reflexive at this point.

            For my two cents, the speed improvements and collaborative editing both promise to be major boons. I am thankfully less impacted by the C++ improvements these days, but colleagues of mine are psyched about those for cross-plat porting ease, too.

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              Nah. They serve their customers very well. There are a LOT of banks and other businesses who don’t need to operate “at scale” who are very well served by the ecosystem.

              Are you mostly doing C# these days? Curious why you’re not so much impacted by the C++ improvements.

              FWIW I think C# is a really nice language. It’s like Java with some of the Gosling induced neuroses removed :)

              (To be fair most of which have been fixed in Java 8+)

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                I’m actually mostly doing Kotlin these days; even the C# stuff I do is mostly maintenance. Kotlin is almost as good as C#, so that’s okay, but I honestly still miss the .NET ecosystem.

                I’m not currently doing C++ on any platform, at least for awhile, so it’s not anything VS-specific.

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                  Very interesting! Does Kotlin use the underlying Java ecosystem for library support and the like? And is this for mobile or multi-presentation?

                  (If I’m asking too many questions feel free to tell me to buzz off :)

                  I know almost nothing about the Kotlin ecosystem.

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                    I definitely don’t mind.

                    Kotlin has three variants: one targeting the JVM, which is what people almost always mean when they say they use Kotlin; a version targeting JavaScript; and a version doing native compilation (currently in beta). The JVM variant leverages the underlying Java ecosystem heavily as a main selling point: it’s designed to be easy to consume Java from Kotlin and vice-versa, meaning that you can have your cake and eat it too. (This feels very different from, say, calling F# code from C#, which isn’t hard, but definitely leaks through pretty badly. It feels more like VB.NET/C# interop.)

                    In practice, this works pretty well: Kotlin libraries get null-safety, coroutines, a better collections library, and so on, while still getting access to the full Java ecosystem, and it’s quite easy to expose Kotlin back to Java without issue. (A great example of this is my favorite lightweight web server for the JVM, Javalin, which is written in a mix of Java and Kotlin and feels at home in either language.) It’s also becoming the official language for Android development, as Google’s now released official Android libs that take advantage of Kotlin-specific features, and begun using it for some internal work they’re doing.

                    In our case, we’re using it as a safer and more expressive language than Java for writing server apps. Kotlin adds null safety, structs, covariant and contravariant generics, named parameters, and a bunch of other stuff you’d recognize from C#, plus adds some of its own stuff, like type-safe constructor DSLs and easy-to-sue immutable collections.

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                      Very cool! It sounds like Kotlin is scratching the itch a lot of people hoped Scala would, but then discovered that, to use the word of a founder I once met, Scala is “A very sharp tool.”

                      Thanks for the explanation. Now I’m curious enough to go do some digging :)

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                        Yep. One complaint I’m very used to hearing from Scala peeps is, “but Scala already did this!” Which is almost always true; they’re simply leaving out the adjective, “poorly.” Or, if you prefer my extremely sarcastic summary: “Scala’s my go-to when I want the compile times of C++, paired with the memory footprint of Java and the conceptual simplicity of Haskell.”

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                          “Scala’s my go-to when I want the compile times of C++, paired with the memory footprint of Java and the conceptual simplicity of Haskell.”

                          THAT seems to be the crux of it - Scala tried to do so much and embody so many different and in some cases fairly arcane concepts that many of the war stories I heard were people getting themselves into deeper water than they’d intended when tried and true ‘boring’ techniques probably would have done the job.

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                            If you try Kotlin and find you like it, but think that everything’s just a bit too damn simple, feel free to take a look at Arrow, which abuses the living crap out of Kotlin annotations to bring you full-blown monads, up to and including Haskell’s actual IO monad. It’s…a thing.

                            Thankfully, the Kotlin ecosystem in general trends pretty hard to practicality and simplicity. Arrow gets used (we’re using it where I work for some things), but it’s actually a pretty atypical Kotlin library.

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                              I will NEVER look at a programming language and say “This is too damn simple” :)

                              I’m annoyed with the Python community at the moment for complexifying the language by degree to save a few lines of code here and there.

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          Everything?

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            Why?

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              Because it’s an awesome and popular tool.

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                Yeah many people agree that whether you love Microsoft or Windows or you don’t - the Visual Studio suite is and has been among the best and most complete developer environments for decades at this point.

                I was using it to write C++ (MFC for those who remember - or can’t forget :) for a Big Finance firm in the 90s and it was quite an impressive piece of software back then.

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                  I mean then we can have new posts about every release of every popular tool. Sublime, Vim, Emacs, PyCharm, .. whatever. I see no point of getting all this spam, when I can just simply subscribe to newsletter / git from my favorite popular tool.