Kotlin 1.4 is a planned upgrade that will improve null-check capabilities and optimizations. Instead of throwing a KotlinNullPointerException, IllegalStateException, IllegalArgumentException, and TypeCastException, all runtime checks will now throw a single java.lang.NullPointerException.
With this, Kotlin 1.4 will open up more possibilities for null check optimizations by the Kotlin compiler or other bytecode processing tools like the Android R8 optimizer. This update will also apply to the !! operator, parameter full checks in the method preamble, the AS operator with a non-null type, and platform-typed expression null checks. However, this update will not apply to null checks in lateinit, library calls like checkNotNull and requireNotNull.
Thanks to Google announcing Kotlin as their preferred language for app development, Kotlin has now gained a bit of momentum and more and more app developers now also prefer using Kotlin.
As Kotlin 1.4 is still in the pipeline, the Kotlin Foundation has released Kotlin 1.3.50 that focuses on APIs and NPM dependencies.
Here’s what’s new in Kotlin 1.3.50:
- An API for bit manipulation in the standard library, available in a beta form.
- An improved Time and Duration API, also in a beta stage.
- For the JetBrains IntelliJ Idea IDE, Kotlin 1.3.50 improves the Java-to-Kotlin converter to minimize the volume of “red code” to fix manually after a conversion.
- Experimental generation of external dependencies for NPM dependencies in Gradle Kotlin/JS projects, using the Dukat converter. Dukat converts TypeScript files to Kotlin external declarations.
- Java compilation support in multiplatform projects, by calling the new withJava() function of the DSL
You can download the lastest version of Kotlin from GitHub here.
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