Kotlin queues up new compiler, WebAssembly back end

Project roadmap puts a compiler rewrite, multiplatform mobile development, and WebAssembly at the top of the to do list

Kotlin, the JetBrains-developed, statically typed language for JVM, Android, and web development, is due for a compiler rewrite, multiplatform mobile improvements, and a Kotlin-to-WebAssembly compiler back end, according to a public roadmap for the platform.

Unveiled October 5, the roadmap covers priorities for the language, which received a strategic boost in 2017 when Google backed it for building Android mobile apps, alongside Java and C++.

The compiler rewrite, noted on the roadmap as a key priority, would emphasize speed, parallelism, unification, and, ultimately, pluggability. Plans also call for having the new compiler compile itself. The current compiler would continue to be maintained for bug-fixing.

The roadmap addresses primary areas the team is working on, without committing to delivering features or fixes in specific versions. It spans a six-month time frame and will be updated every three months. Another priority, Kotlin multiplatform mobile, calls for improving the user experience and feature set for sharing code on mobile platforms.

Other priorities cited in the roadmap include:

  • JVM server-side development, with more support for use cases across the Kotlin ecosystem.
  • Making the change-test-debug cycle really fast.
  • Improving the performance and stability of the Kotlin IDE.

The roadmap also has a section focused on subsystems, citing the biggest projects being worked on:

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