Scala is dying, what about Play Framework?

According to StackOverflow statistics, Scala is not really popular these days. The language is almost the least popular just before Perl, Haskell and Julia: Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020

If I have a look on Google Trends, the comparison with Groovy is clear, Scala is dying since 2017: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=%2Fm%2F02js86,%2Fm%2F091hdj

On the other hand, if you only consider pure languages (no CSS, HTML or SQL), Java is always in the top 3 of the most popular and used languages. For example, it’s number 2 on the PYPL: PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language index

Screenshot from 2021-08-16 17-53-47

It validates the Lindy effect, suggesting that the older a technology is, the better its future is.

Considering these facts, will Play Framework become a fully Java oriented framework or will it die with Scala? What are the plans?

I don’t think Scala is dying. There are more Hyundais on the road than Mercedes, and nobody claims that Mercedes dies ;-)

That being said, hopefully Scala 3 will add some adoption to the language. But honestly I don’t think we’ll ever get to the popularity of Node.js and the such, since these languages require less thinking ahead (no static typing), at the expense of quality and performance.

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Don’t think it is. Instead, there’s been a move towards Scala 3 which is much simpler and cleaner and that may have had some impact because of the relative quiet the last few years regarding Scala releases.

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As you can see, the statistics are clear, there is less and less interest in Scala and I don’t see why the Google Trends curve would suddenly change. It doesn’t mean that there is less interest for Scala than for any other language (it doesn’t matter), it means that there is less interest for Scala today than in the past. It is clear that Scala is dying.

People don’t care about Scala 3, I don’t, but as a Play Framework user, I care about the future of Play Framework and I think Play Framework developers should care too. There is not future for technologies in a dead ecosystem.

Play Framework is awesome and there isn’t that many good Web frameworks in Java. Today Java is more popular than ever so I see an opportunity for Play Framework to become a main part of the web development ecosystem in Java.

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Scala isn’t dying, it’s doing fine, there are plenty of job postings, the ecosystem is healthy, the forums and chat rooms are active, there are new books coming out all the time and strong interest from publishers and readers, and the language remains in use in many companies worldwide, both large and small. The community remains small if judged compared to Python or Java, but it is large enough to be self-sustaining, it has been large enough to be self-sustaining for more over than a decade now.

If you want to say that in 2021, Scala still has not become one of the handful of top languages that dominate our industry, sure, say that. But you are completely wrong that it is dying.

And if you want to say that you hope that Play’s Java support should stay strong, great, say that too! But you don’t need to make false claims about Scala in order to defend that position.

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I also do not think Scala is “dying”. A language doesn’t have to be in the top 5 to be alive. There is a “winner take all” mentality in a lot of technology people, and the world of software is diverse enough to allow a lot of different solutions to thrive.

However, there is a group of Scala users that are concerned about the future. It would be great if the Play Maintainers could drop in this thread or the one about low github activity and help set expections with the community about how much investment to expect.

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Play should be rewritten in pure Java. There is no reason to have it in Scala.

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re: Play’s future, see Github project abandonned? - #10 by ennru

No reason? Why do you think this?

Hi!

I posted an update about what we have in mind to move Play forward: On the future of Play Framework - #2 by mkurz

Matthias

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Hello @cyrilfr,

What most people using Scala care about is to keep on producing high quality code, with lots of static type checking, maintainable, and high performant software, etc, rather than worrying about how high in the top chart the language is.

Of course the higher the better, but certainly, Scala is not for everybody, not because it is the hardest thing but because the set of people that wants to build something that perform under pressure is smaller than rest that are just fine with scripting languages.

Building software that scales and perform under pressure is not an easy task and Scala can really help you there, really making the difference, especially combined with solutions like Akka and others.

Not sure why you think something is dying because it is not popular. In any case, if Scala dies, the need of something like scala will not dissapear and will end up in something that runs like scala, compiles like scala and performs like scala.

Best Regards,
PD: having Java at the top is something that indirectly favors scala.

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Most of the sbt plugin projects are dead on GitHub. Thus it isn’t a good sign and doesn’t make it reliable for serious project…