Kotlin roadmap points to compiler, mobile improvements
- 18 November, 2021 13:50
Plans for Kotlin 1.7.0 and beyond were detailed in a bulletin published by JetBrains on November 10. Kotlin 1.5.31 is the latest version available, as of November 15.
JetBrains said the focus of the compiler work was on bringing the K2 compiler front end to an alpha state. K2 promises to be a speedier compiler for the language, with the front end responsible for code analysis and transformation to an intermediate representation.
The planned K2 alpha release will preview a new plug-in infrastructure that will lay the groundwork for the development of more tools. Kotlin’s developers are also investing in support for non-JVM back ends, which would allow multi-platform projects to be built with K2.
Also in the Kotlin roadmap is KMM (Kotlin Multi-platform Mobile), a technology for sharing code between platforms including iOS and Android, moves to a beta release in Spring 2022. Issues are being fixed impacting code highlighting, navigation and completion, debugging, and build tool stability. Concurrency also is being improved.
Meanwhile a prototype of a new namespace concept is planned, providing an ephemeral object without an instance that every class automatically possesses. Namespace members are compiled down to static members of the JVM. The plan is intended to improve interoperability with Java static methods and enable extensions of Java static methods.
Delving deeper, Kover, a Gradle plug-in to measure code coverage, has been introduced while Kotlin Playground, a web-based tool for learning, prototyping, and sharing knowledge, is being made more mobile-friendly.
Work is proceeding on Dokka, a documentation generation tool, which is being promoted to beta in the planned 1.6.0 release of Kotlin. Furthermore, plans are afoot to improve internal infrastructure to improve Kotlin IDE plug-in release adoption.