Category Archives: scala

State of Scala IDE on Eclipse

Even thought Scala is now among the trendy programming languages, it still misses a lot before it is considered as one of the major players.

Most Scala programmers are they who are not satisfied with Java, so it’s natural that most of them were before programming with Java. One of the things Java programmers miss from Scala is a robust and functional IDE. Since I’m a big fans of Eclipse, this means Scala IDE for Eclipse. While surely the improvements have introduced to the plugin, there are many things left out.

So what are still missing? This is my list based on several months experience with Scala IDE. If some missing features are missing (duh…), just comment and I’ll try to update the post.

  • No refactoring. I miss refactoring a lot. I still remember the day I find refactoring features on RefactorIT for JBuilder. It’s like the day you saw sun for the first time. And not long after that, I found Eclipse with its build-in refactoring features. Call me lazy programmer, but programmer should be lazy, isn’t it?
  • The content assist takes (almost) forever. Yesterday I found myself restarting Eclipse about five times just because I’m programming with Scala. And I’ve increase the timeout of content assist ten folds.
  • Content Assist doesn’t show (not nearly) all posibilities. When it works, it doesn’t even show nearly all possibilities I want to have. On some cases, it even can’t show a pretty simple completion for a field. As small example: if I write ‘va’, I hope I can get ‘var’ and ‘val’ as the first entries of the completion suggestion.
  • Limited formatting options. Eclipse’s Java Formatter is the best configurable formatter I’ve ever saw. This Scala formatter doesn’t even come near it.
  • No suggestion, not even correction suggestion. I often use Ctrl+1 in Java editor to assign the statement to a variable. Not possible. If you got errors, you got no correction suggestion.
  • No integration to scala documentation. Weird, but the Scala editor can show Javadoc but no Scala documentation is accessible.
  • No auto import. I ended up importing the whole package everytime I need a class.

But yes, I still put a lot of hope woth Scala IDE. It shouldn’t take a lot of time, because the code is in Scala and Scala means productivity, right?