What is Kotlin?
What is the current version of Kotlin?
The currently released version is 1.8.10, published on February 2, 2023.
Is Kotlin free?
Yes. Kotlin is free, has been free and will remain free. It is developed under the Apache 2.0 license and the source code is available on GitHub.
Is Kotlin an object-oriented language or a functional one?
Kotlin has both object-oriented and functional constructs. You can use it in both OO and FP styles, or mix elements of the two. With first-class support for features such as higher-order functions, function types and lambdas, Kotlin is a great choice if you're doing or exploring functional programming.
What advantages does Kotlin give me over the Java programming language?
Kotlin is more concise. Rough estimates indicate approximately a 40% cut in the number of lines of code. It's also more type-safe, for example, support for non-nullable types makes applications less prone to NPE's. Other features including smart casting, higher-order functions, extension functions and lambdas with receivers provide the ability to write expressive code as well as facilitating creation of DSL.
Is Kotlin compatible with the Java programming language?
Yes. Kotlin is 100% interoperable with the Java programming language and major emphasis has been placed on making sure that your existing codebase can interact properly with Kotlin. You can easily call Kotlin code from Java and Java code from Kotlin. This makes adoption much easier and lower-risk. There's also an automated Java-to-Kotlin converter built into the IDE that simplifies migration of existing code.
What can I use Kotlin for?
Can I use Kotlin for Android development?
Yes. Kotlin is supported as a first-class language on Android. There are hundreds of applications already using Kotlin for Android, such as Basecamp, Pinterest and more. For more information, check out the resource on Android development.
Can I use Kotlin for server-side development?
Yes. Kotlin is 100% compatible with the JVM and as such you can use any existing frameworks such as Spring Boot, vert.x or JSF. In addition, there are specific frameworks written in Kotlin such as Ktor. For more information, check out the resource on server-side development.
Can I use Kotlin for web development?
Can I use Kotlin for desktop development?
Yes. You can use any Java UI framework such as JavaFx, Swing or other. In addition there are Kotlin specific frameworks such as TornadoFX.
Can I use Kotlin for native development?
Yes. Kotlin/Native is available as a part of Kotlin project. It compiles Kotlin to native code that can run without a VM. It is still in beta, but you can already try it on popular desktop and mobile platforms and even some IoT devices. For more information, check out the Kotlin/Native documentation.
What IDEs support Kotlin?
Kotlin has full out-of-the-box support in IntelliJ IDEA and Android Studio with an official Kotlin plugin developed by JetBrains. Other IDEs and source editors, such as Eclipse, Visual Studio Code, and Atom, have Kotlin community-supported plugins.
You can also try Kotlin Playground for writing, running, and sharing Kotlin code in your browser.
In addition, a command line compiler is available, which provides straightforward support for compiling and running applications.
What build tools support Kotlin?
What does Kotlin compile down to?
When targeting the JVM, Kotlin produces Java compatible bytecode.
When targeting native, Kotlin will produce platform-specific code (via LLVM).
Which versions of JVM does Kotlin target?
Kotlin lets you choose the version of JVM for execution. By default, the Kotlin/JVM compiler produces Java 8 compatible bytecode. If you want to make use of optimizations available in newer versions of Java, you can explicitly specify the target Java version from 9 to 19. Note that in this case the resulting bytecode might not run on lower versions. Starting with Kotlin 1.5, the compiler does not support producing bytecode compatible with Java versions below 8.
Is Kotlin hard?
For more information, check out our learning materials.
What companies are using Kotlin?
There are too many companies using Kotlin to list, but some more visible companies that have publicly declared usage of Kotlin, be this via blog posts, GitHub repositories or talks include Square, Pinterest, Basecamp, and Corda.
Who develops Kotlin?
Kotlin is primarily developed by a team of engineers at JetBrains (current team size is 100+). The lead language designer is Roman Elizarov. In addition to the core team, there are also over 250 external contributors on GitHub.
Where can I learn more about Kotlin?
Are there any books on Kotlin?
There are a number of books available for Kotlin. Some of them we have reviewed and can recommend to start with. They are listed on the Books page. For more books, see the community-maintained list at kotlin.link.
Are any online courses available for Kotlin?
You can learn all the Kotlin essentials while creating working applications with the Kotlin Basics track on JetBrains Academy.
A few other courses you can take:
Pluralsight Course: Getting Started with Kotlin by Kevin Jones
O'Reilly Course: Introduction to Kotlin Programming by Hadi Hariri
Udemy Course: 10 Kotlin Tutorials for Beginneres by Peter Sommerhoff
You can also check out the other tutorials and content on our YouTube channel.
Does Kotlin have a community?
Are there Kotlin events?
Yes. There are many User Groups and Meetups now focused exclusively around Kotlin. You can find a list on the web site. In addition, there are community-organized Kotlin Nights events around the world.
Is there a Kotlin conference?
Yes. The official annual KotlinConf is hosted by JetBrains. It took place in San-Francisco in 2017, Amsterdam in 2018, and Copenhagen in 2019. Kotlin is also being covered in different conferences worldwide. You can find a list of upcoming talks on the web site.
Is Kotlin on social media?
Yes. The most active Kotlin account is on Twitter.