Compare Scala vs. Clojure vs. Groovy
Scala vs. Groovy vs. Clojure
Groovy is a dynamically typed language, the syntax of which is very close to Java, with a number of syntax improvements that allow for lighter code and less boilerplate. It can be run through an interpreter as well as compiled. This makes it easy to quickly prototype, script, and learn dynamic languages without having to learn new syntax (assuming you know Java). Starting with Groovy 2.0, static compilation is also increasingly supported. Groovy supports closures and supports programming in a somewhat functional style, although it is still quite a long way from the traditional definition of functional programming.
Clojure is a dialect of LISP with some advanced features such as software transactional memory. If you like LISP and want to use something similar under the JVM, Clojure is for you. It is probably the functional language that runs on the JVM, and it is certainly the most famous. In addition, variability is emphasized more than with other LISP dialects, which brings the heart of functional language enthusiasts closer.
Scala is a fully object-oriented language, more than Java, with one of the most advanced type systems available for non-research languages, and certainly the most advanced type system the JVM. It also combines many of the concepts and features of functional languages without sacrificing object orientation, but its trade-off in the features of functional languages bothers some enthusiasts of the latter.
Groovy has good adoption and is a popular web framework in Grails. It also supports the Gradle build system which is becoming a popular alternative to Maven. Personally, I consider it a language of limited use, especially since Jython and JRuby are gaining a foothold on JVM land compared to the others.
Clojure, which even highlights some very interesting features, has a strong appeal just because it is a LISP dialect for JVM. It might limit its popularity, but I expect there will be a loyal community for a long time.
Scala can compete directly with Java and put it to the test in almost every aspect. It may not be gaining popularity right now, of course, and the lack of strong corporate support can affect its adoption in corporate environments. It's also a much more dynamic language than Java in the sense of how the language evolves. From a language point of view, that's a good thing. From the point of view of users planning to write thousands of lines of code, this is not the case.
Ultimately, I know Scala very well and only know the other two.
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