Scala 2.12.0-RC2 is now available!

Tuesday 18 October 2016


We are happy to announce the availability of Scala 2.12.0-RC2!

This RC fixes all reported regressions since 2.11. It will become the final by October 28th, unless we hear of any issues that block your upgrade to 2.12 before then!

Here are the most noteworthy fixes since RC1:

  • #5429 Default -Xmixin-force-forwarders to true (regression in performance of generated code);
  • #5398 SD-225 Use a lzycompute method for module initialization. Address a performance regression;
  • #5417 SD-233 synchronized blocks are JIT-friendly again;
  • #5433 Don’t deprecate Either.left and Either.right yet;
  • #5392 SI-9918 Don’t crash on object in trait mixed into package object;
  • #5397 SI-9920 Avoid linkage errors with captured local objects + self types;
  • #5430 Emit object in method like lazy val;
  • #5442 SI-9943 sealed class does not yield SAM type;

The RC1 release notes have a list of important changes since M5.

In total, we merged 29 pull requests. This milestone resolves 6 JIRA tickets and 9 scala-dev issues.

As usual for Scala pre-releases, 2.12.0-RC2 is not guaranteed to be binary compatible with any other Scala version, including any 2.12 milestones and release candidates.

Known issues

As with previous 2.12 builds, the new trait encoding may make some trait-based code run slower. We’ve investigated this issue in depth, and have implemented important improvements in RC2. Compile times may still be longer in 2.12 than 2.11. Please let us know if you notice any performance regressions. We will continue to tweak the bytecode we emit during the 2.12.x cycle to get the best performance out of the JVM.

We welcome feedback from the Scala community helping to isolate unusual slowdowns.

We hope to address the following in a future 2.12.x release:

  • SI-9824: Parallel collections are prone to deadlock in the REPL and in object initializers.

Scala 2.12

Scala 2.12 requires a Java 8 runtime.

Scala 2.12 is all about making optimal use of Java 8’s new features. Traits (#5003) and functions are compiled to their Java 8 equivalents, and we treat Single Abstract Method types and Scala’s builtin function types uniformly from type checking to the back end (#4971). We also use invokedynamic for a more natural encoding of other language features (#4896). We’ve standardized on the GenBCode back end (#4814, #4838) and the flat classpath implementation is now the default (#5057). The optimizer has been completely overhauled for 2.12.

Except for the breaking changes listed below, code that compiles on 2.11.x without deprecation warnings should compile on 2.12.x too, unless you use experimental APIs such as reflection. If you find incompatibilities, please file an issue.

New features

With this release candidate, we consider 2.12.x to be feature complete.

For 2.12.0, we will try to remain binary compatible with RC2, and we won’t risk regressions except for the most critical bugs.

Trait compiles to an interface

With Java 8 allowing concrete methods in interfaces, Scala 2.12 is able to compile a trait to a single interface. Before, a trait was represented as a class that held the method implementations and an interface. Note that the compiler still has quite a bit of magic to perform behind the scenes, so that care must be taken if a trait is meant to be implemented in Java. (Briefly, if a trait does any of the following its subclasses require synthetic code: defining fields, calling super, initializer statements in the body, extending a class, relying on linearization to find implementations in the right super trait.)

Java 8-style lambdas

Scala 2.12 emits closures in the same style as Java 8, whether they target a FunctionN class from the standard library or a user-defined Single Abstract Method (SAM) type. The type checker accepts a function literal as a valid expression for either kind of “function-like” type (built-in or SAM). This improves the experience of using libraries written for Java 8 in Scala.

For each lambda the compiler generates a method containing the lambda body, and emits an invokedynamic that will spin up a lightweight class for this closure using the JDK’s LambdaMetaFactory.

Compared to Scala 2.11, the new scheme has the advantage that, in most cases, the compiler does not need to generate an anonymous class for each closure. This leads to significantly smaller JAR files.

New back end

Scala 2.12 standardizes on the “GenBCode” back end, which emits code more quickly because it directly generates ASM bytecode from Scala compiler trees, while the previous back end used an intermediate representation called “ICode”. The old back ends (GenASM and GenIcode) have been removed (#4814, #4838).

New optimizer

The GenBCode back end includes a new inliner and bytecode optimizer. The optimizer is enabled using -opt compiler option, which defaults to -opt:l:classpath. Check -opt:help to see the full list of available options for the optimizer.

The following optimizations are available:

  • Inlining final methods, including methods defined in objects and final methods defined in traits
  • If a closure is allocated and invoked within the same method, the closure invocation is replaced by an invocations of the corresponding lambda body method
  • Dead code elimination and a small number of cleanup optimizations
  • Box/unbox elimination #4858

Either is now right-biased

Either now supports operations like map, flatMap, contains, toOption, and so forth, which operate on the right-hand side.

(.left and .right may be deprecated in favor of .swap in a later release.)

The changes are source-compatible with old code (except in the presence of conflicting extension methods).

Thanks, Simon Ochsenreither, for this contribution.

Futures improved

This blog post series by Viktor Klang explores the diverse improvements made to scala.concurrent.Future for 2.12.

Scaladoc now supports doc comments in Java sources

Thanks, Jakob Odersky, for this fix to SI-4826.

Partial unification of type constructors (SI-2712)

Compiling with -Ypartial-unification adds partial unification of type constructors, fixing the notorious SI-2712, thanks to Miles Sabin.

Breaking changes

SAM types

Implicit conversion of function types to SAM types won’t kick in as often now, since the compiler’s own SAM conversion takes priority:

trait MySam { def apply(x: Int): String }
implicit def unused(fun: Int => String): MySam =
  new MySam { def apply(x: Int) = fun(x) }
// uses SAM conversion, not the `unused` implicit
val sammy: MySam = (_: Int).toString

To retain the old behavior, you may compile under -Xsource:2.11, or disqualify the type from being a SAM (e.g. by adding a second abstract method).

Inferred types for val (and lazy val)

#5141 and #5294 align type inference for def, val, and lazy val, fixing assorted corner cases and inconsistencies. As a result, the inferred type of a val or lazy val may change.

In particular, implicit vals that didn’t need explicitly declared types before may need them now. (This is always good practice anyway.)

You can get the old behavior with -Xsource:2.11. This may be useful for testing whether these changes are responsible if your code fails to compile.

Changed syntax trees (affects macro and compiler plugin authors)

PR #4794 changed the syntax trees for selections of statically accessible symbols. For example, a selection of Predef no longer has the shape q"scala.this.Predef" but simply q"scala.Predef". Macros and compiler plugins matching on the old tree shape need to be adjusted.

Binary compatibility

Since Scala 2.11, minor releases of Scala are binary compatible with each other. Scala 2.12 will continue this tradition: every 2.12.x release will be binary compatible with 2.12.0. Milestones and release candidates, however, are not binary compatible with any other release.

Scala 2.12 is not and will not be binary compatible with the 2.11.x series. This allows us to keep improving the Scala compiler and standard library. We are working with the community to ensure that core projects in the Scala eco-system become available for 2.12. Please refer to this growing list of libraries and frameworks.

The Scala 2.11.1 release notes explain in more detail on how binary compatibility works in Scala. The same policies apply to 2.12 as well.


A big thank you to everyone who’s helped improve Scala by reporting bugs, improving our documentation, spreading kindness in mailing lists and other public fora, and submitting and reviewing pull requests! You are all magnificent.

According to git shortlog -sn --no-merges v2.12.0-RC1..v2.12.0-RC2, the following contributors helped to realize this release candidate: Adriaan Moors, Jason Zaugg, Lukas Rytz, Seth Tisue, Stefan Zeiger, Antoine Gourlay, Raphael Jolly. Thank you!

Release notes

Improvements to these release notes are welcome!

Obtaining Scala