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.

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.

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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