Although WebObjects and Scala work remarkably well together, there are some rough edges.
Here we'll take a look at conflicting paradigms of WebObjects and Scala.
WO Collections vs. Scala Collections
One of the primary advantage of Scala is its very rich and modern set of collection classes - List, Map, etc.
These enable the use of functional programming techniques such as pattern matching, comprehensions and functional mapping & filtering. They are also thread-safe for concurrent computations.
Although Scala allows for conversions between its collection classes and Java collections, it's preferable to use the Scala foundation classes universally in a Scala WebObjects application to avoid unnecessary extra noise.
Scala 2.9 introduces parallel collections. These may offer a more powerful way of dealing with "astronomical" database relationships.
Key Value Coding vs. Strong, Static Typing
Scala is a strongly typed static language. As a result WebObjects Key Value Coding (or KVC for short) is out of place in a Scala world.
At one time WO's KVC was one of my favourite features of the dynamically typed Objective-C language. However even in the strongly typed Java language KVC started to appear out of place if not awkward. It is passe.
Scala has syntactic sugar that makes "
()" of methods optional.
So accessing "studio.movie.name" via KVC would be identical (if not simpler) in Scala without.
Many of the perceived benefits of weakly typed, dynamic languages may not be valid anymore.
The following are a list of impacted API
As with KVC, other weakly typed WebObjects APIs don't fit comfortably in a strongly typed world like in Scala.
EOF is notoriously single-threaded.
As a result EOs and business logic are unlikely to receive any significant benefit using Scala.
Locking and Synchronizing Shared Mutable Data vs. Actor Model
The use of shared data and locks doesn't prohibit concurrency in anyway. It is just considerably harder to get right.
The Actor model of concurrency which is used by Scala offers a simpler, radical alternative. Say goodbye to locks...
Technically, though the shared editing context is supposed to store only "read-only" data, one is not disallowed from editing those EOs.
This is why the shared editing context should be turned-off in a multi-threaded, concurrent WebObjects application.
Shared Object Cache
EOF by default will share row-level snapshots of objects. This very much goes against the Actor model paradigm of concurrency which vehemently avoids the use of mutable shared data.
It may be one reason why EOF is not considered (or used) in a multi-threaded way.
EOF's shared object cache model may not have been a bottleneck in the days of monolithic or dual-core CPUs but now with multi-core servers commonplace, it may well be.
Imperative Programming vs. Functional Programming
The WebObjects API is presented in an imperitive, object-oriented style.
Though Scala can be used imperatively like Java, it is vastly more powerful when used as a functional programming language.
Scala Wildcard '_' vs. Java Wildcard '*'
Scala's wildcard character is '_' unlike Java's '*' wildcard.
In addition to making reading Scala awkward at first, it also means that it's not such a great idea to have Scala classes prefixed with '_'. E.g: EO generated classes like