Kotlin and its resourceful libraries

Kotlin and its resourceful libraries

What is Kotlin? 

Kotlin is a cross-platform programming language that can interoperate with Java and runs on the Java Virtual Machine. Other than these two principal languages Android apps are also developed with C#, C++, Python and Corona. It is statically typed “pragmatic” programming language initially designed for the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and Android that combines object-oriented and functional programming features.

It is focused on interoperability, safety, clarity, and tooling support and is developed by JetBrains. The project started in 2010 and was open source from very early on. The first official 1.0 release was in February 2016. The currently released version is 1.3.72, published on April 15, 2020.

Why do we use Kotlin? 

Provided it is both object-oriented and has functional constructs, you can use it in both OO and FP styles, or mix elements of the two. With first-class support for features such as higher-order functions, function types and lambdas, it is a great choice if you’re doing or exploring functional programming.

It can be used for any kind of development including server-side, client-side web and Android. Having Kotlin/Native currently in the works, support for other platforms like embedded systems, macOS and iOS others. People are using it for mobile and server-side applications, client-side with JavaScript or JavaFX and data science as a few possibilities.

Kotlin for Android Development and more 

Kotlin is supported as the most preferred language on Android. There are hundreds of applications already using it for Android, such as Basecamp, Pinterest and more. It is 100% compatible with the JVM and can be used with any existing frameworks like Spring Boot, vert.x or JSF.

There are specific frameworks written in Kotlin such as Ktor and is supported by all major Java IDEs including IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio, Eclipse and NetBeans. Besides, a command-line compiler is available and provides straightforward support for compiling and running applications.

Android -KTX

It is a set of Kotlin extension for Android app development whose goal is to make Android development with Kotlin more concise, pleasant and idiomatic by leveraging the features of the language such as extension functions/properties, lambdas, named parameters and parameter defaults. It is a direct goal of this project to not add any new features to the existing Android APIs.

KAndroid

In this, Kotlin library for Android provides useful extensions to eliminate boilerplate code in Android SDK and focus on productivity. This library is astounding as it allows you to avoid writing too many codes for common functions like SearchView query text change, Handler implementation and ViewPager implementation and more.

ANKO from JetBrains

  • It is a Kotlin library which makes the Android application development faster and easier.
  • Makes your code clean and easy to read and allows you to forget about rough edges of the Android SDK for Java.
  • Anko consists of several parts which includes

Anko Commons: A lightweight library full of helpers for intents, dialogs, logging and more
Anko Layouts: A rapid and type-safe way to write dynamic Android layouts
Anko SQLite: A query DSL and parser collection for Android SQLite
Anko Coroutines: Its utilities are based on the kotlinx.coroutines library

If you are planning to develop Kotlin project, then you this library is a must-have and should never be missed as it is lightweight and helps to avoid Boilerplate code.

K4Kotlin

It is a sweet and small set of Kotlin functions to reduce your android boilerplate code.

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Fuel

It is the easiest HTTP networking library for Kotlin and Android. If you are using OkHttp or Retrofit then they are perfectly fine but it is the option as it is completely built on Kotlin principals.

Kotson

Gson for Kotlin
Kotson enables you to parse and write JSON with Google’s Gson using a more concise and easier syntax. It has a set of extension functions, meaning that it adds utility functions and syntactic sugars to Gson in Kotlin and does not add new features to Gson nor does it generates any new types.

Therefore, it is usable on any Gson object, whether created from Java or Kotlin in source or library. This library is also recommended due to its serialisation and de-serialisation methods that are based on Gson, as they are short and easy to comprehend.

Kotpref

It has Android’s SharedPreference delegation for Kotlin and makes Sharedpreferences implementation very easy and like object and can be combined with Gson serialisation. Koi include many useful extensions and functions that can help to reduce the boilerplate code in Android applications, specifically, Koi’s powerful extension function named asyncSafe.

If you want to learn more Kotlin or the technical interview questions while taking a specialisation in Kotlin/Android, you can click here.