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04 June 2012, 15:23

Kotlin M2 now runs on Android too

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Kotlin, one of the newer alternatives to Java that runs on the Java Virtual Machine, has reached its second milestone and can now run on Android. The open source language is being developed by JetBrains, developers of the IntelliJ IDEA IDE. Kotlin offers the ability not only to compile to Java byte code but also to JavaScript. Announced in July 2011 and open sourced in February, Kotlin is working past a set of milestone targets to become a production ready language.

The first milestone, introduced in April, made available to developers a plugin for IDEA, a standalone compiler and standard library and build tools. The second milestone fixes a range of bugs in the first. Changes in the language ensure that Kotlin now respects its visibility modifiers (public, protected, private and 'internal'), allows arrays to be passed to variable argument functions and adds a spread operator to convert arrays into vararg-lists. Kotlin M2 also activates JavaScript support in the IDE so a project can be modified from within it and the results seen in the browser.

Kotlin now runs on Android thanks to work by Aleksandro Eterverda; developers will need to have already loaded the Android SDK, IntelliJ IDEA's Android support and the Milestone 2 plugin to compile applications. A quick start is offered in the form of kotlin-android-hello and step-by-step instructions. Work is in progress to port the other Android examples to Kotlin and contributions are welcome.

Instructions for installing the second milestone build of Kotlin are available, while the full source and other resources are available on JetBrains Github repository. Kotlin is available under the Apache Licence 2.0.


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