Kotlin in Action 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
About this Book
Kotlin in Action teaches you the Kotlin programming language and how to use it to build applications running on the Java virtual machine and Android. It starts with the basic features of the language and proceeds to cover the more distinctive aspects of Kotlin, such as its support for building high-level abstractions and domain-specific languages. The book pays a lot of attention to integrating Kotlin with existing Java projects and helping you introduce Kotlin into your current working environment.
The book covers Kotlin 1.0. Kotlin 1.1 has been in development in parallel to the writing of the book, and whenever possible, we’ve mentioned the changes made in 1.1. But because the new version is still a work in progress as of this writing, we haven’t been able to provide complete coverage
Who Should Read This Book
Kotlin in Action is primarily focused on developers with some level of Java experience. Kotlin builds on many concepts and techniques from Java, and the book strives to get you up to speed quickly by using your existing knowledge. If you’re only just learning Java, or if you’re experienced with other programming languages such as C# or Java-Script, you may need to refer to other sources of information to understand the more intricate aspects of Kotlin’s interaction with the JVM, but you’ll still be able to learn Kotlin using this book. We focus on the Kotlin language as a whole and not on a specific problem domain, so the book should be equally useful for server-side developers, Android developers, and everyone else who builds projects targeting the JVM.
How This Book is Organized
- The book is divided into two parts. Part 1 explains how to get started using Kotlin together with existing libraries and APIs
- Part 2 teaches you how to build your own APIs and abstractions in Kotlin and covers some of the language’s deeper features
About the Author
Svetlana Isakova is a Kotlin developer and a conference speaker.
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- Paperback : 360 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1617293296
- ISBN-13 : 978-1617293290
- Product Dimensions : 7.38 x 0.8 x 9.25 inches
- Publisher : Manning Publications; 1st Edition (February 19, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #195,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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**side-note** I did have to return my first book b/c the copy had some illegible sentences. It was like the printer was running out of ink. I got my replacement 2 days later and had no issues with it.
Which brings me to an important point. Be warned that this book is written with Java developers in mind, so you will probably want to find another book if you don't already know Java pretty well. Also be aware that this was written for Kotlin 1.0, and as of this review we are already well into 1.3. I found that very little has changed as far as the topics already covered in the book (mostly minor things), but there are some new language features like coroutines that were added since the book's release that you will need to look into separately. You can go to the Kotlin website and review the list of what changed in the documentation. Go to "Learn" -> "What's new" and it will give a detailed description of all the new language features in 1.1 - 1.3 so you can catch up on the newest features.
Also, FYI I found out you can download the e-book from the Manning site for free if you get this physical book. That's a little bonus I wasn't aware of when I bought my copy.
Note: This book does not cover coroutines which were added to language later.
Top reviews from other countries
Firstly, as other reviewers and the book itself make clear, the target audience is experienced Java developers. If you don’t have a good grasp of Java, this is not the book for you.
Although this is a review of the book and not the Kotlin language, some background might be helpful:
Kotlin is a JVM-based language that is compatible with Java (and vice versa) and uses the standard Java libraries. Kotlin was developed by Jetbrains, the company behind the IntelliJ IDE that also forms the basis of Android Studio. The book authors are members of the Jetbrains core team so should know of what they speak.
Ideally you’ll read the book and form your own opinion, but my own take is that Kotlin is an evolution of Java that eliminates much of the tiresome boilerplate (JetBrains IDE heritage is evident here) and “cleans up” many of the language features. This includes every Java developer's favourite, the NullPointerException. In a way, Kotlin is what Java might look like if the original designers had known then what we know now.
One simple example is a data value object where in Java you must declare all the properties and then add getters and setters, usually via an IDE. Jetbrains have moved this into the Kotlin compiler itself so you just declare the class and properties and the getters/setters are generated in the bytecode - they are not part of the source so it is much cleaner to write and read.
The book itself is well-organised and of a high standard with few, if any, typos. The chapter organisation seems logical and there are many examples as befits the "... in Action" series. I found that the more difficult concepts were made easier to grasp by the book’s frequent sidebars on how the feature is implemented in Java.
The book was only published in Feb/Mar 2017 and things are already moving on as of June 2017. However, reading this book and working through the examples gets you most of the way up the learning curve. Any updates can be easily found on the web.
Whether Kotlin makes it to the “big time” and stays there probably depends largely on its use with Android, but it’s certainly a possibility. Regardless, I suggest that it’s certainly worth a few hours study via this book, even if only to make you think about those elements of Java that we accept just because they’ve always been there. Time for a change?
Having "bet the farm" earlier this year on Scala I started to read about Kotlin when it was announced that Kotlin would be the official Android language. As big fan and user of JetBrains' IntelliJ IDEA-EAP, they are the creators of Kotlin, it has given the language (for me) a lot of credence.
I found this book very well laid out, easy to read and interesting. You can tell it was written by "doers" not Academics. I like the way they don't hawk Kotlin around as a total replacement for Java and talk a lot about 'interoperability' with Java, the JVM and existing libraries. No one's going to ditch years of Java investment to totally switch to another language.
Too many books simply explain the syntax. This is one of those that gives you a much deeper understanding: it explains WHY you might use particular constructs, as well as how, what they achieve, and how they fit together. And although it starts with the very basics, it goes progressively deeper, so that by the end it's covering things that will only be used by authors of libraries and DSLs.
This is also the authoritative book, written by people at JetBrains on the team that designed and implemented the language, and continue to develop it. So they know their stuff! They know why the language was designed as it is, and the rationale behind its various features and trade-offs. And luckily, they're also very good at explaining it: the book is clear, lucid, and readable. (Despite its authors being Russian, the book's English is impeccable. In fact, that's true of Kotlin itself: in countless tiny ways, its use of English is better than most other programming languages.)
The book goes at a fair pace; if you don't know Java or another modern OO language, you might find it a bit terse. But I appreciated the lack of filler and the huge amount of insight packed into a moderate-length book.
Perhaps the highest praise I can give it is this: I read it cover-to-cover three times. I've only found myself doing that for the best books (Programming In Scala, Sedgewick, and a select few others). In fact, the only thing stopping me from delving into it more is that I lent my copy to some workmates (where all new development is in Kotlin — in fact, the language sold itself, and I didn't need to persuade anyone!)… Luckily, the book comes with a code to download an electronic copy, so I have that to refer to!
If you want to get a good understanding of the language, this is the book to get.
Undoubtedly the best Kotlin book currently available, without mentioning others at least one of them is pretty dire.