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Kotlin introduction

Kotlin is a language that targets JVM and Javascript and it was released in feb 2016.

  • Statically Typed Language
  • Inspired by Java, Scala, C# and Groovy
  • Targets
    • JVM
    • JavaScript
    • Under progress (Native)
  • Industrial purpose language
  • Any type of application like
    • Web, Desktop, Server-side
  • Deep Android adoption
  • Gradle has adopted it for its scripting and plugins
  • Similarity to other language allows quick ramp-up time
  • Interoperability allows gradual adoption:
    • Advantage of this can allow developet to mix and match the java code with kotlin.
  • Kotlin 1.0 released in feb 2016
  • Many companies including Amex(American Express), Netflix, and NBC News Digital are using kotlin

Introduction to the JAVA VIRTUAL MACHINE A.K.A JVM

In simple words JVM is an abstract machine that helps in executing java applications.

JVM composed by

  • Single specification, multiple implementations (OpenJDK most common).
  • An instance is what runs a java application.
  • Applications compiled to Bytecode
  • Interms of running applications we have two facilities JRE and JDK

Languages on the JVM

  • Truly polyglot ecosystem
  • All languages either compiled to bytecode (or Transpile to Java first)
  • Kotlin, Scala, ceylon, Clojure, Frege


  • Kotlin and Java are 100% interoperable
  • You can call java from Kotlin and vice versa
  • You can use java library.

Installing the Tools

To get up and running you need the following tools.

  • JDK 6/7/8 if you are targetting android try JDK 6

  • Kotlin compiler

  • IDE intelliJ IDEA ultimate edition or Community edition

    Kotlin official download Link


REPL stands for READ, EVALUATE, PRINT, LOOP, Interactive way in which we can work with Kotlin programs.

If you have Kotlin compiler installed In commandline type kotlinc for REPL to start working for you. you can start interactive REPL and start coding as you wish pretty straight forward.

You have two ways to use the REPL you can use your terminal and intelliJ IDE for starting to the REPL.

Kotlin with IntelliJ IDEA

Download community edition IntelliJ IDEA its free and lets get started on building awesome Kotlin projects.

Conventions used with Kotlin and Summary

Most of the programming syntax follows the Java convention if you are not familiar with the conventions lets go over them again.

  • Follows the Java coding conventions
  • Lower camelCase for names
  • Types in Uppercase
  • Methods and Properties Lower camelCase
  • Packages following reverse notation
    • Multiple classes per file allowed
    • Package does not have to match the folder names


  • Kotlin is a language that targets the JVM and Javascript
  • On the JVM it generates bytecode
  • Fully interoperable with Java
  • The release was on Feb 2016
  • 1.1 release was on autumn 2016

Declaring Variables in Kotlin

Declaring a variable we will use a keyword var and for declaring functions fun. And data type is initialised after we write the name for functions and variables. consider the following function as example. it starts with fun keyword and function name, As arguments of the funtion we will pass the argument name first and later the argument type.

fun main(args: Array<String>) {


To declare a variable

    var streetNumber: Int
    var streetName: String = "MG Road"

One important aspect of kotlin is type inference when we are using a string variable even if we don't mention it's type kotlin finds out that you need a string for this operation. and it helps in cutting the amount of boiler plate code we write on acomplishing a simple task.

    var streetName = "MG Road"

For creating immutable variables we will use the keyword val consider the following example.

val zip = "Ashok stays in Bangalore"

val cannot be re-assigned any other values.

IntelliJ IDEA tells if you haven't used the variable more then once in your program to convert that in to val.

Working with Basic types in Kotlin

In kotlin everything is an object, Int is an object in kotlin that defines the standards for numbers. Similarly we have Byte, Long, FLoat, Double,

    val myInt: Int
    val myInt: Int

    val myLong = 10L
    val myFloat = 100F
    val myHex = 0x0F
    val myBinary = 0xb01

To work with binary types kotlin offers bitwise operators shift left and so on.


 val myChar = 'A'
    val myString = "Android rocks with this new language"
    val escapeCharacters = "A new line \n"
    val rawString = "Hello"+ "Ashok this is second line"+"A third line"

    val multipleLines = """
                This is a string
                that has multiple lines
                and kotlin knows
                how to read it

One of the other feature that kotlin provides string interpolation.

    val years = 10
    val message = " A decade is" + years

// String interpolation
    val messageYears = "A decade os $years years"

Within the string interpolation you can use the methods as shown below.

    val name = "Ashok"
    val anotherMessage = "Length of his name is ${name.length}"

Kotlin offers many methods and functions libraries that works with string we will explore everything on the go.

Loops and ranges in Kotlin

In this section lets look how kotlin will help in iterate through set of data.

    for (a: Int in 1..100){
        //It will print from 1 to 100

If we look at the above code block it has explicitly declared data type inside the for loop, even if remove it kotlin will understand that it is an integer and it will print the out put.

    for (a in 1..100){
        //It will print from 1 to 100

We can iterate through in many different ways as shown below. we use two dots to say from and to, if i want a list of numbers from 1 to 9000 i will do as shown below.

val numbers = 1..900

val numbers = 1..900
    for (a in numbers){

When we need to do a reverse order loop we can use the downTo keyword inside the for loop and execute the program.

// if want a reverse order loop
for (a in 100 downTo 1){

One more method that we can pattern the looping mechanism like as shown below using step key word.

 // A little bit more complex loop
    for (b in 1000 downTo 1 step 10){

You can declare a list of data and iterate through the data as shown below.

 val Names = listOf("Ashok","Pavan", "Keerthi", "Thiru Windows", "Sanjay", "santosh")
    for (name in Names){


  var i = 99

    while (i < 100){
    do {
        var x = 10
    }while (x > 0)

Conditional execution with If and When in Kotlin

Like any language kotlin offers conditionals with few differences.

 //if conditionals
    var myString = "Not empty right now"
    if (myString != ""){
        println("Not empty")
    }else if (myString.startsWith("a")){
    }else {

The above example is similar to conditional in most of the programming language. kotlin also helps in checking the expressional conditions as well.

We can assign if conditions into a variable.

val result = if (myString != ""){
        println("Not empty")
    }else {

When we compile this above logic we will see

//output for val result = if (myString != ""){
 //       println("Not empty")
//    }


Here unit is nothing but a void similar to other programming languages. So when we say kotlin allows assigning conditions inside a if condition and we are experiencing a void output. Why is that ?

The kotlin compiler reads the last line in the expression assigned to a variable.

 val result = if (myString != "") {
        "Not empty"
    } else {

Now the above logic prints the following output.

Not empty

Kotlin also introduces a new condition unlike most of other programming languages. Called "When" condition.

fun main(args: Array<String>) {

    //if conditionals
    var myString = "Not empty right now"

    val result = if (myString != "") {
        "Not empty"
    } else {

    when (result){
        is String -> println("excellent")
        "Value" -> println("The result is a value")

Notice that When condition is not limited to primitive datatypes it can compare any other custom data as well. It can be helpful in pattern matching.

Packages and Imports in Kotlin & Summary of kotlin basics

So far we have understood the basic programming constructs in Kotlin, Now its time to understand how kotlin works with packages.

Packages in kotlin is completely similar to Java when we have hirarchy of packages and files IntelliJ or Android Studio will be able to import the package details through the files and functions

package com.ashokslsk.kotlin.intro.basics

import com.ashokslsk.kotlin.intro.basics.utils.someUtility

 * Created by ashok.kumar on 06/09/17.
fun main(args: Array<String>) {
    println("Hello World")

import com.ashokslsk.kotlin.intro.basics.utils.someUtility

 * Created by ashok.kumar on 06/09/17.
fun main(args: Array<String>) {
    println("Hello World")

We can also have ***** Import which basically imports all the classes in the package.

We can also have a named imports using as keyword.

import com.ashokslsk.kotlin.intro.basics.utils.someUtility as someOtherFunction

The above feature is great in terms of handling conflict.

To summarise what we seen so far

  • Two ways to declare variables in kotlin
    • var for mutable
    • val for immutable
  • for loops can use ranges (1..100) for iteration
  • if and when can be used in an expression

Functions in Kotlin

Kotlin treats functions as first class citizens. Most of programmers argues on whats the pure functional programming langauge or non functional programming language and they bring in languages like haskel is the only pure functional programming language. As a fact any language that treats functions as first class is functional programming language, Perhaps for practical aspects kotlin is functional language.

package com.ashokslsk.kotlin.intro.functions

 * Created by ashok.kumar on 06/09/17.

fun hello (){
    println("Hello World")

fun main(args: Array<String>) {

Functions with return types

package com.ashokslsk.kotlin.intro.functions

 * Created by ashok.kumar on 06/09/17.

fun hello (): Unit{
    println("Hello World")

fun main(args: Array<String>) {

Here in the above example Unit is little bit of different from plain void type in other languages. It is an object that returns string.

We can write custom excetion methods as shown below.

fun throwingException(): Nothing {
    throw Exception("Throwing exception")

Say if we want to create a function that returns some value.

fun returnsFour(): Int {
    return 4

fun main(args: Array<String>) {
    val integerValue  = returnsFour()