Announcing Kotlin Symbol Processing (KSP) Alpha


Posted by Ting-Yuan Huang‎, Software Engineer and also David Winer, Product Manager

Today we are delighted to reveal the alpha of Kotlin Symbol Processing (KSP), a brand new device for constructing light-weight compiler plugins in Kotlin. KSP provides comparable capability to KAPT, nevertheless it’s up to 2x much faster, provides straight accessibility to Kotlin compiler functions, and also is being established with multiplatform compatibility in mind.

KSP works with the Kotlin 1.4.30 launch and also onwards. You can take a look at the open resource code and also paperwork in the KSP GitHub database.

Why KSP?

The #1 demand we learn through Kotlin designers is to make develop rates much faster. Many designers repeat on and also release applications lots of times a day, so needing to kick back waiting on a slow-moving develop can be extremely time consuming. One of the largest difficulties with assembling Kotlin code is that Kotlin doesn’t have an indigenous comment handling system. Annotation cpus like Room are common on Android and also depend on Java comment handling compatibility via the Kotlin Annotation Processing Tool (KAPT). KAPT can be slow-moving to run, however, given that it calls for producing intermediate Java stubs that can after that be consumed by the Java comment handling system.

When developing KSP, we thought of what comment handling would certainly appear like for Kotlin if we constructed it from scratch. KSP provides an effective and also yet basic API for parsing Kotlin code straight, considerably minimizing the develop rate tax obligation enforced by KAPT’s stub generation. Indeed, first standards with the Room collection reveal that KSP is roughly 2x faster than KAPT.

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Getting began

To see what KSP appears like at work, download and install the KSP play ground job from GitHub. In it you’ll locate:

  • Library: A plaything test-processor collection that executes the building contractor pattern as a KSP cpu
  • Consuming job: A work directory site that demonstrates how to utilize the building contractor cpu in a real-world Kotlin job

All of the reasoning for carrying out the building contractor remains in test-processor — for the customer (work), the only distinction in between utilizing KAPT and also KSP is a two-line develop data adjustment:

This is the objective of KSP: most Android application designers don’t require to fret about its internals; aside from this line adjustment, a collection that sustains KSP looks much like a regular comment cpu, just it’s up to 2x much faster. That stated, utilizing KAPT and also KSP in the exact same component will likely decrease your develop at first, so throughout this alpha duration, it is best to utilize KSP and also KAPT in different components.

As even more comment cpus take on KSP, we anticipate a lot of your components to be able to utilize KSP as a close to drop-in substitute for KAPT. For currently, you can take a look at which comment cpus supply KSP assistance in this table. If a collection that sustains or is carrying out assistance for KSP is missing out on from the table, please send a pull demand with your tip!

If you are a writer of a collection that presently makes use of comment handling, you can locate even more details on exactly how to make your collection suitable with KSP in the quickstart and also README overviews.

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For collection writers, since KSP remains in alpha, it’s a good time to begin looking carefully at it and also offering us comments on the API in the KSP concern tracker. In enhancement, we routinely upload launch updates in the #ksp network on Kotlin Slack. Since the designer sneak peek last June, we’ve shut over 100 insects and also problems, lots of which have actually been reported by the incredible neighborhood of Kotlin collection designers.

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