JetBrains Releases Tech Preview of VM-less Kotlin
- By John K. Waters
This is a tech preview, not a fully functional release, but it provides potential users with access to the source code on GitHub. When Kotlin/Native goes GA, the compiler will be available under the Apache 2 OSS license. No release target date has been announced.
Kotlin/Native uses the LLVM compiler infrastructure to generate machine code. The LLVM Project is an umbrella project comprising a collection of modular and reusable compiler and toolchain technologies.
The company plans to support several platforms supported by the LLVM in the future. This preview release supports four platforms:
- MacOS X 10.10 and later (x86-64)
- x86-64 Ubuntu Linux (14.04, 16.04 and later)
- Apple iOS (arm64), cross-compiled on MacOS X host
- Raspberry Pi, cross-compiled on Linux host
Kotlin/Native takes the language another step closer to the company's goal of making Kotlin usable throughout a modern application. "Eventually, it will be possible to use Kotlin to write every component," project lead Andrey Breslav wrote in a blog post, "from the server back-end to the Web or mobile clients."
JetBrains is the chief commercial supporter of Kotlin, which it unveiled in 2011 at the JVM Language Summit in Santa Clara, Calif., and later released it for distribution under the Apache 2 Open Source License. The language is actively used in production at the Prague-based JetBrains and by other companies and individual developers "from Web-service back-ends to Android apps," said project lead Andrey Breslav. The company has reportedly committed 20 JetBrains employees to the project, and claims that nearly 100 collaborators are working on the language.
John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS. He can be reached at email@example.com.