extends

What def, val, and var fields in Scala traits look like after they’re compiled (including the classes that extend them)

Table of Contents1 - def field in trait2 - val field in trait (abstract)3 - val field in trait (concrete)4 - var field in trait (abstract)5 - var field in trait (concrete)6 - An abstract class in the middle7 - A trait in the middle8 - Summary

I generally have a pretty good feel for how Scala traits work, and how they can be used for different needs. As one example, a few years ago I learned that it’s best to define abstract fields in traits using def. But there are still a few things I wonder about.

Today I had a few free moments and I decided to look at what happens under the covers when you use def, val, and var fields in traits, and then mix-in or extend those traits with classes. So I created some examples, compiled them with scalac -Xprint:all, and then decompiled them with JAD to see what everything looks like under the covers.

I was initially going to write a summary here, but if you want to know how things work under the hood, I think it helps to work through the examples, so for today I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

An example of stackable modifications in Scala

As a brief note today, here’s an example of stackable modifications in Scala.

Lately I was curious about what super means when you mix Scala traits into a class or object. A simplified answer is that super refers to the last trait that’s mixed in, though I should be careful and note that this is an oversimplification.

This can be demonstrated in an example that uses both inheritance and mixins with traits. Given this combination of traits and classes:

How to dynamically add a Scala trait to an object instance

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is a very short recipe, Recipe 8.8, “How to dynamically add a Scala trait to an object instance.”

Problem

Rather than add a trait to an entire class, you just want to add a trait to an object instance when the object is created.

Solution

Add the trait to the object when you construct it. This is demonstrated in a simple example:

How to define a Scala trait so it can only be subclassed by a certain type

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 8.6, “How to mark a Scala trait so it can only be subclassed by a certain type.”

Problem

You want to mark your trait so it can only be used by types that extend a given base type.

Solution

To make sure a trait named MyTrait can only be mixed into a class that is a subclass of a type named BaseType, begin your trait with a this: BaseType => declaration, as shown here:

How to declare constructor parameters when extending a Scala class

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 4.10, “How to handle constructor parameters when extending a Scala class.”

Problem

You want to extend a base Scala class, and need to work with the constructor parameters declared in the base class, as well as new parameters in the subclass.

Scala trait examples and syntax alvin September 30, 2014 - 9:08am

This page contains a collection of Scala trait examples. I created many of these examples when I was writing the Scala Cookbook. Unlike the Cookbook, where I explain these examples in great detail, on this page I’m just sharing many of the examples so you can use this as a trait reference page. (The Cookbook actually contains more examples than this page.)

Without any more introduction, here are the examples.