The latest version of Kotlin has reached release candidate status. Version 1.4 has a preview of extra support for Node.JS and improved IDE support.
Kotlin is the open source language originated by JetBrains and promoted by Google as a first class language for Android to replace or supplement Java. It makes Android programming easier by reducing the need for long chunks of boilerplate code that the average programmer just doesn’t get, or perhaps more accurately doesn’t bother understanding at a deep level.
This release builds on the significant improvements made to the IDE support for Gradle Kotlin DSL scripts in Kotlin 1.3.7 with better error reporting and the ability to load script configuration explicitly for better performance.
In the previous release, when you added a new plugin to the buildscript or plugins block, the new script configuration was loaded automatically in the background, even if this had a negative impact on performance. You now need to explicitly apply changes to the configurations by clicking Load Gradle Changes or by reimporting the Gradle project.
The improved error reporting means you now see errors from the Gradle Daemon in the Build tool window rather than in a separate log file.
Dukat support is improved with more fine-grained control in Dukat integration with te Kotlin/JS Gradle plugin. Dukat is a tool for automatically converting TypeScript declaration files (.d.ts) into Kotlin external declarations. You now have two different ways to select if and when Dukat should generate declarations.
The other main improvement to Kotlin 1.4 is a preview of bindings for Node.js APIs. You could already target Node.js with Kotlin, but the developers say the full potential of the target is unlocked when you have typesafe access to its API.