Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Making Sense Of Symbols In Scala's Collections API

Scala comes under a lot of criticism for the leeway it gives to the use of symbols. A criticism I can understand, since if abused, can easily lead to codebases that might be difficult to read at first glance.

But even with that, I still think the criticism is aggrandized, because when it is all said and done, symbols are still very valid and capable tools for capturing and expressing ideas. Especially when they can do so in very crisp and mathematically fashion without introducing the overhead/need for verbal processing.

"But it is almost impossible to google these symbols"! The complaint goes...

True, but when you think about it, this isn't an inadequacy of Scala, but the inadequacy with most search engines and their inability to deal with symbols in search queries.

To deal with this drawback, I have learnt to use http://symbolhound.com/ whenever I hap upon a symbol in Scala which I want to search. Symbolhound.com can deal with special symbols and does not escape them like Google et al. does.