Kotlin programming

JetBrains has been developing Kotlin, an open-source and modern programming language, since 2011.

  • 😎 More concise, simplified, version of Java
  • ✈ī¸ Main language used for Android applications
  • 👌 A Kotlin file (.kt) can be compiled to a Java file (.java)

Kotlin is interoperable with Java.

Where to learn?


Basics

Use var to declare a variable

var someVar1 : Int = 5
var someVar2 = 5 // inferred

Use val to declare a constant

val someVal1 : Int = 5
val someVal2 = 5 // inferred

➡ī¸ Semicolons ( ; ) are optional.

By default, Kotlin variables cannot be null. To declare a nullable variable, you must add ? after the type.

var someVar3 : String? = null
someVar3?.toString() // Optional chaining
someVar3?.toString() ?: "null" // default value
someVar3!!.toString() // Assert non null

Types are implicit. There are a few changes with Java.

  • Unit (Kotlin) is the same as void (Java)
  • Any (Kotlin) is the same as Object (Java)
  • Int (Kotlin) is the same as Integer (Java)
  • Number, Float, Double, String, Char are unchanged

You can convert a variable to type YYY with .toYYY()

val d = "5".toDouble()
val d = "5".toDoubleOrNull() // instead of using exceptions

You can use $var/${code} to use a variable/some code in a string.

val str = "The value of d is $d"
val str = "The square of d is ${d * d}"

There are also functions for null-safe operations

i?.plus(2) // i+=2 (if not null)
i?.inc() // i++ (if not null)

Core

The main function can be put in any file.

fun main(args: Array<String>) : Unit {
    println("Hello World!")
}
// or
fun main() {
    println("Hello World!")
}

You can use TODO to create a to-do. If a function with a to-do is called, it will raise an exception.

TODO("Not yet implemented")

Lambdas

In Kotlin, many functions take another function (lambda).

fun xxx(yyy: (Int) -> String) { /* ... */ }
// one way to cal "xxx"
xxx( fun (x: Int) : String = x.toString() )

We usually use the trailing lambda syntax to call such functions. The parameter is available in a variable called it.

xxx { it.toString() }

We can explicitly add the return type and/or the argument name.

xxx { x: Int ->
    return@xxx x.toString()
}

Control-flow structures

There are a few major changes compared to Java.

  • ➡ī¸ instanceof was replaced by is.
- if (xxx instanceof SomeClass yyy) {}
+ if (xxx is SomeClass) {
+    xxx.zzz() // ➡ī¸ no cast in yyy needed!
+}
  • ➡ī¸ The ternary operator was removed (đŸ˜ĩ)
-int x = true ? 1 : 0
+val x = if (true) 1 else 0
  • ➡ī¸ switch was replaced by when
// do something
when (xxx) {
    yyy -> println("xxx=yyy")
    zzz -> println("xxx=zzz")
    else -> {}
}
// return a value
val x = when(xxx) {
    yyy -> true
    else -> false
}

The major change with this new syntax, is that we can do other things in a when than simply compare with ==.

when (xxx) {
    is A -> println("xxx is an instance of A")
    is B -> println("xxx is an instance of B")
    else -> println("???")
}

➡ī¸ There is a new bloc repeat to repeat the code inside X times.

repeat(5) { /* job */ }

➡ī¸ There is a new operator to cast a variable: as.

val yyy = xxx as YYY
val yyy = xxx as? YYY

➡ī¸ Every for was replaced with a for in.

// for "each"
for (e in listOf<Int>(5, 3)){}
// for "i=min; i < max; i++"
// ex: min=0, max=10, from "0" to "9"
for (i in min until max)
// for "i=min; i <= max; i++"
// ex: min=0, max=10, from "0" to "10"
for (i in min .. max)
// for "i=max; i >= min; i--"
// ex: max=10, min=0, from "10" to "0"
for (i in max downTo min)

You can add a step

// i+=2 giving us 3, 5
for (i in 3 .. 6 step 2){}

Scope functions

Documentation

➡ī¸ Use apply to factorize successive calls on the same object. The returned value is xxx (the caller).

xxx.apply { /* xxx == this in this bloc */ }

➡ī¸ Use with to factorize successive calls on the same object. The returned value is the last expression of the block.

with(xxx) { /* xxx == this in this bloc */ }

➡ī¸ Use also to group successive calls using the same object. The returned value is xxx (the caller).

xxx.also { /* xxx is available in a variable "it" */ }

➡ī¸ Use let to group successive calls using the same object. The returned value is xxx (the caller).

// if "xxx" could be null, then using "?.let"
xxx?.let { /* "it" is not null here */ }
// you can name the argument
xxx?.let { xxxNonNull -> {} }

Functions

We use the keyword fun to declare a function.

fun myFunction() {}

The name of a parameter is written before its type.

fun myFunction(param: String) {}

Parameters can have default values

fun myFunction(param: String = "Default") {}

A function can return something

fun myFunction() : Int { return 5 }
val five = myFunction()

Functions with a "simple" body can be inlined

fun sum(x: Int, y: Int) : Int = x + y

We call a function as you would in Java.

myFunction()

Parameters can be given in any order.

fun myFunction(param1: String, param2: Int, param3: Any? = null) {}

myFunction("5", 5)
myFunction(param1 = "5", param2 = 5)
myFunction(param2 = 5, param1 = "5")

fun myFunction(param1: String = "s", param2: Int = 0) {}
val five = myFunction(param2 = 5)

You can write variadic functions with vararg instead of ....

fun x(vararg x: Int) {
    // x is an Array<Int>
}

Classes, and objects

Basics

class SomeClass {
  var attribute1 = 5
  val attribute2 = 5

  fun myMethod() {}
}

Instantiation is done without calling the new keyword

val anObject = SomeClass()

Constructors

Each class can have one primary constructor, in which you can declare attributes, and execute code inside init {}. You can add additional constructors if needed.

class SomeClass(val x1: Int, // public attribute
                private val x2: Int, // private attribute
                local: String) { // local variable
    init {
        // local is only available here
    }

    constructor(x1: Int) : this(x1, 0, "") {

    }
}
val anObject = SomeClass(5, 0, "")
anObject.x1 // ✅ (public, 5)
anObject.x2 // ❌ (private)
anObject.local // ❌ (not an attribute)
val another = SomeClass(3)

Getters/Setters

You may use backing fields. Create a private attribute that is either var/val, and a public attribute, which may have a more restrictive type. In the example below, others can't add elements to the list.

class XXX {
    private val _list = mutableListOf<Int>()
    val list : List<Int> = _list
}

The syntax above is a shortcut to declare the getter below:

val list : List<Int>
    get() {
        return _list
    }

You can also add a setter the same way

var xxx : Int
    get() { /* ... */ }
    set(value) {
        // ...
    }

Static

Each class can have one companion object in which variable/functions declared inside are static.

class SomeClass(val x1: Int) {
    companion object {
        // attribute
        val xxx: String = "10"
        // const
        const val YYY: String = "10"
        // function
        fun zzz() {}
    }
    // named companion object
    // companion object XXX {}
    // companion object XXX : YYY {}
}
SomeClass.xxx
SomeClass.YYY
SomeClass.zzz()

➡ī¸ If the companion object extends YYY, you can pass either the Class (SomeClass) or the companion object (SomeClass.XXX).

Visibility

By default, class members (methods, and attributes) are public. You can change the visibility to private, protected, or internal.

class SomeClass {
  private var attribute1 = 5
  protected val attribute2 = 5
  protected fun myMethod() {}
}

Inheritance

// ➡ī¸  with an interface
class SomeClass : Comparable<SomeClass> {
    override fun compareTo(other: SomeClass): Int {
        TODO("Not yet implemented")
    }
}
// ➡ī¸  with a class
// Classes are final by default.
// Use 👉 "open" to allow inheritance.
open class SomeClass {}
class AnotherClass : SomeClass() {}

Multiple inheritance is possible, but you must handle conflicts.

interface A { fun a() {} }
interface B { fun a() {} }
class AnotherClass : A, B {
    override fun a() {
        super<A>.a()
    }
}

Attributes can be abstracted now

abstract class AClass(){
    abstract val xxx: String
    abstract fun aName(): XXX
}

class AnotherClass : AClass() {
    override val xxx: String = "10"
    override fun aName(): Int { return 0 }
}

Extension function

It's possible to add a function to a class "dynamically".

// ➡ī¸ Declaration: Class.newMethodName
fun Int.square(): Int {
    return this * this
}
// ➡ī¸ Can be called from any instance
5.square()

Object

An object is the same as a Singleton.

object XXX {
    const val YYY = 1
    fun zzz() {}
}

// ...
XXX.YYY
XXX.zzz()

Data class

A dataclass is a class to store data.

data class XXX(private val yyy: Int)

Enum class

The syntax for enums is similar to Java aside from the class after enum. The syntax for enums with parameters is a bit different.

enum class AAA(val ddd: Int) {
    BBB(0),
    CCC(1),
}

Collections

  • Create a list
val list = listOf<Int>()
val list = mutableListOf<Int>()
val list = emptyList<Int>()

println("List: $list")
println("List: ${list.size}")
println("List: ${list[0]}")
println("List: ${list.first()}")
println("List: ${list.last()}")
// and there are usual functions:
// add, remove, clear, addAll,
// isEmpty, contains...

➡ī¸ You can convert a map/an array/a set to a list with .toList().

  • Create an array
val array = arrayOf<Int>()
// ...
  • Usual functions on lists/arrays
l.forEach { /* ... */ }
l.map { /* apply a transformation on each element */ }
l.filter { /* keep values passing the filter */ }
l.shuffled() // shuffle
l.take(n) // take "n" elements
// sort
l.sorted()
l.sortedWith {}
l.joinToString(", ")
  • Create a set
val set = setOf<Int>()
// ...
  • Create a map
val map = mutableMapOf<String, String>(
    "key" to "value",
    // ...
)
map["key"] = "value"
val value : String? = map["key"]

Random

Thread

val thread = Thread {
    // Thread.sleep(50)
    // Thread.currentThread()
    // ...
    println("Thread started")
}
thread.start()

đŸ‘ģ To-do đŸ‘ģ

Stuff that I found, but never read/used yet.

  • Interaction types (T extends XXX<YYY, ZZZ> & TTT & UUU)
  • top-level function (not in a class)
  • top-level variables (not in a class)
  • delegation (private val xxx: YYY by yyy())
  • lateinit
@JvmStatic
@Throws(FileNotFoundException::class)
Array<out TreeElement>?
xxx.isNullOrEmpty()
@xxx { break @xxx }