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A Tour of Contextual Abstractions in Scala 3

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Dean Wampler
Domino Data Lab, Principal Software Engineer

Dean Wampler (@deanwampler) is an expert in data engineering for scalable streaming data systems and applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI). He is a Principal Software Engineer at Domino Data Lab. Dean is the author of "Programming Scala, Third Edition" and other books from O'Reilly.


Implicits are one of Scala's most powerful features. This single mechanism can be used in various idiomatic ways to implement a number of capabilities, like implicit conversions. One of the biggest changes in Scala 3 is a reworking of implicits to introduce new constructs that make the capabilities more intuitive, with less emphasis on a single mechanism.

The new constructs include extension methods, a new way to write type classes, given instances with using clauses, given imports, and new implicit conversions. I'll discuss how to use them, how they contrast with Scala 2 idioms, and how Scala will gradually transition to them, supporting both implicits alongside the new features for a while.