Google has announced an alpha version of its Kotlin Symbol Processing (KSP) tool for building compiler plugins in the modern application development language, Kotlin.
KSP is compatible with Kotlin 1.4.30, which Czech software developer firm JetBrains released last week as a precursor to Kotlin 1.5.0.
Kotlin has been endorsed by Google as a language for developing Android apps. Kotlin is now used by over 60% of professional Android developers and is an alternative to building apps with Java: Google engineers wrote about 30% of the Google Home app in Kotlin after translating it from legacy Java code.
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According to Google, the top request from Kotlin developers is to speed up build times during compilation.
“Many developers iterate on and deploy apps dozens of times a day, so having to sit around waiting for a slow build can be very time consuming,” said Google’s Ting-Yuan Huang and David Winer.
One of the biggest challenges with compiling Kotlin code is that Kotlin doesn’t have a native annotation processing system, while annotation processors like Room are commonly used on Android and rely on Java annotation processing compatibility through the Kotlin Annotation Processing Tool (KAPT).