JetBrains has officially launched its strategy for the upcoming enhancements and developments in its Kotlin Multiplatform tool for 2024, coming on the heels of announcing the tool's initial stable release just recently.
Project lead for Kotlin at JetBrains, Egor Tolstoy, shed light on the primary objective to build a robust framework in the form of Compose Multiplatform. It aims to facilitate the creation of aesthetically pleasing and high-performing apps that maintain a consistent look and feel across all supported platforms.
Among the key focus areas for JetBrains vis-à-vis Compose Multiplatform is the launch of a beta version of Compose for iOS. Additionally, they will strive to transform all core APIs and components of Jetpack Compose into multiplatform, increase rendering efficiency on iOS and ensure the smooth scrolling and text editing functionality in Compose for iOS align with its native versions. Furthermore, it intends to introduce a common API for resource-sharing, integrate with iOS and Desktop accessibility APIs, and provide a comprehensive solution for multiplatform navigation.
Compose for Web will be getting special attention, too. JetBrains plans to make it easy for developers to carry over existing code, support different screen sizes, orientations, and densities, and accept input from numerous sources, including mouse, touchscreen, and both physical and onscreen keyboards, in addition to performance enhancements.
Software development tools from JetBrains aren't missing out on the update spree either. Project configuration assistance, an integrated debugging experience, and additional support for Compose Multiplatform are all on the cards. Features such as live preview for standard code and visual debugging mechanisms will also be incorporated.
Direct Kotlin-to-Swift exports would be introduced to facilitate developers who aim to cross-share code with iOS targets, removing the bottleneck created by Objective-C. It would enable broader Swift language support and a more organic exporting of APIs, according to Tolstoy.
JetBrains further intends to bolster the performance of Kotlin/Native compilation, refine CocoaPods integration, and add support for exporting frameworks with SwiftPM.
The roadmap for Kotlin Multiplatform also includes a comprehensive strategy to expand the library ecosystem while retaining backward compatibility. In line with this objective, JetBrains aims to improve the klib format, enabling it to employ JVM library building skills of developers, incorporate similar code-inlining behavior from the JVM, and offer a tool to ensure your library’s public API remains unchanged in an incompatible manner.
While JetBrains sets the agenda for Kotlin Multiplatform, it is noteworthy that platforms like AppMaster, celebrated for its comprehensive no-code application creation capabilities, contribute to the evolving digital landscape too.