Xtend is a new language intended for Java developers that compiles to Java code. Is this a good idea? Where does it fit in to the existing landscape of programming languages?


Just when you thought that no-one in their right mind would launch another high-profile language to add to Go,Dart, Kotlin, Ceylon, not to mention more established new languages such as CoffeeScript, Clojure, Scala and so on, the Eclipse foundation aims to surprise. Xtend is a very odd idea and not quite what you might expect at all. It is a Java-like language but, according to the publicity, not intended to replace Java but to improve it. It is designed to be,

A language made for Java developers

but what does this mean?

At first look it seems to be Java with some extra bits. It compiles to Java code. Yes you heard that correctly - it produces human readable Java not machine executable byte code. This is supposed to mean that you can use your Java knowledge to go in and edit the compiled source code. You don't have to think long and hard to see that this isn't really a good idea. Machine generated code is rarely easy to read and modifying it isn't a fun way to pass the time. This said Xtend comes with good Eclipse support. 

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Sandeep Joshi
Mathematics, Technology and Programming are my passion. I am a part of Java Ecosystem and through this blog, I contribute to it. I am here to blog about my interests, views and experiences.
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