Report from the Bay Area Scala Enthusiasts meeting.
Yesterday I attended a meeting of Bay Area Scala Enthusiasts - http://svscala.ning.com . It was great fun. We started with a demo of a Web App in Scala built with Maven and run with JavaRebel technology - http://www.zeroturnaround.com/javarebel - that automatically reloads most changes to the class files after each compilation. You end up with the same development experience as with any scripting language. Did I mention that Scala is a static language that is 100% JVM compatible and has a much cleaner syntax than Java?
The only disappointment was the Eclipse plugin for Scala. It is very rough, but I am still betting that it will beat both Python and Ruby plugins eventually in such areas as code completion, navigation, and refactoring.
All this gloating is tongue-in-cheek of course. I have the greatest respect for Python and Ruby developers, but at the meeting I met several kindred souls that have come to Scala after long stints with dynamic languages.
Currently the tooling support is the primary showstopper for me. Its nice to talk about how a developer shouldn't depend on any tools, but I find that highly unrelistic. Tools like Maven and IDEs make me a ton more productive - its great to be able to use Maven for Scala projects, we just need to a good editor.