Kotlin IDE Performance: Incredible Tips to Measure and improve it

Initially, Java was the only programming language developers had to build applications. But with time, experts in the field brought improvements and technological advancements. As a result, we got new languages while Java continued to evolve. 

Of course, there was nothing wrong with Java. It was simple, powerful, and feature-rich. But it was not enough to meet the ever-changing needs of mobile app development. 

Today, businesses look for modern feature-rich apps that offer great looks and ultimate performance. It is where Kotlin comes into the picture. Released on 8th November 2010, Kotlin has improved and matured over time, and it is considered one of the first coding languages for Android app development. 

Are you wondering why Kotlin is a preferred language for Android? If yes, then we are here to answer all your queries. 

Koltin is a cross-platform programming language that is concise, type and null-safe, and feature-rich. Another thing that makes this language a developer’s delight is its ability to work seamlessly with Java. Thus, it allows developers to leverage the advantages of Kotlin and its libraries while continuing to use the Java language. Additionally, you can speed up mobile app development by hiring Kotlin app development services

But Kotlin developers had experienced performance issues when working with this programming language. These problems occur if they write complex code structures or large codebases. So, before you hire Kotlin developers, it is essential to know how to measure and improve Kotlin IDE performance. 

  • Kotlin IDE performance – How to measure it?

While the Kotlin team is working continuously to ensure a smooth experience using the programming language, they are not done yet. If developers deal with slow IDE with Kotlin, here is what they should do. 

There are numerous approaches to find the problems with Kotlin IDE performance. But the experts recommended, include real-life benchmarks, synthetic benchmarks, and anonymous statistics. Let us look at them in detail. 

1. Real-life project benchmarks – It involves using real Kotlin projects for testing IDE performance. Thus, to conduct code highlighting tests, developers need to use projects written in Kotlin. First of all, they need to categorize the files based on the complexity, simple to complex ones. When it comes to advanced files, they have to undergo plenty of calculations for semantic analysis, type inference, and many more. Since the files have varying highlighting times, developers can evaluate the effect of different situations on IDE performance. 

Also, developers can carry out a highlighting test to run over project files. It will give them a general picture of the state of the code highlighting. 

2. Synthetic benchmarks – In this approach, developers can run benchmark tests for internal components’ highlighting and code completion. However, they should do it on basic code snippets on each build. Developers should perform these tests several times to get repeatable results for a more accurate geometric mean. Each benchmark test has 1000 tests. Usually, these tests run before and after warm-up modes that mean nearly ~20 times in each and 40 times in total. After this, developers can calculate the mean and geometric mean to find out accurate comparisons. 

3. Anonymous statistics – An anonymous statistics approach can help developers get the most accurate picture of the impact of our product on users’ behavior. Talking about anonymous telemetry data, developers can gather it from users who are willing to share. While this data does not give any information about the code, it gives an idea about Kotlin IDE responsiveness. 

How to improve Kotlin IDE performance?

These are some ways to measure the Kotlin IDE performance. Over the past few years, the Kotlin team has improved code completion, highlighting, and IDE responsiveness. However, if you still face performance issues, here are some ways to improve it:

  • Features that help in improving Kotlin IDE performance
    If you experience slow performance with your Kotlin mobile app, here are the best approaches to deal with this problem. First, we will talk about the features you can use to boost IDE performance. 

    • Shared-indexes – Introduced in IntelliJ IDEA 2020.2, the goal of shared indexes was to reduce the time taken on project indexing by 75%. Contrary to other indexes, you can generate shared indexes once and reuse them on another computer whenever required. Thus, you save time in processing and indexing the same external project dependencies on each computer. With this index, you can create local storage for indexes while connecting to the worldwide storage. 
    • IntelliJLight Edit mode – Every developer likes a programming language that allows them to look into a file quickly, correct a code line with ease, or read a small start of code. Of course, not at the cost of time to load the entire IDE and its features. For this reason, most people have started to rely on a basic third-party lightweight editor.

      IntelliJ IDEA is one such feature that allows developers to open files in a lightweight editor. The best part is you can load this editor quickly. Plus, it comes with a limited set of features, which ensures quick improvements.

  • Incredible tips for improving IDE performance – Apart from using these features, we have listed some tips that ensure the faster working of your IDE and project configuration. 

    • Disabling unnecessary plugins – To do so, you need to open IDE Settings/Preferences and go to the Plugins menu. Now, look for plugins that you do not use or are unnecessary. If you do have any, make sure you disable them. There are plenty of things that affect the productivity of IDE, and installing unnecessary plugins is one of them. 

      At times, plugin operations can become a hindrance to the code highlighting process. But often, users do not realize that it is the culprit from the UI behavior. 

    • Change memory for IntelliJ IDEA – Although the maximum memory for the IntelliJ IDEA is 2048 MB, you can change it if needed. Sometimes, by increasing memory for IntelliJ IDEA, you can boost up your IDE performance. To change the memory, you need to click the option Help, followed by Change memory settings. We have seen several instances when Kotlin app development companies improved IDE performance remarkably by changing the memory to 8GB. 

    • Disable auto-import management – The IDE allows automated import management in source files. Of course, not all but a couple of its capabilities can slow down your IDE performance. Therefore, it is advisable to disable automatic import management. Go to the Settings/Preferences→ Editor → General → Auto Import → Kotlin:

      After this, add unambiguous imports and optimize imports. 

    • Unload modules and prohibit folders – Generally, the IDE has to consider indexing and using operations, such as Code Completion or Find Usages, to search. You can reduce this by prohibiting folders that come with project documentation, generated files, logs, and so on. Besides this, you can unload unnecessary modules that you do not use and need.  

    • Prevent inspections check – For example, if you are writing a new code and are not concerned about warnings, you can get the highlighting level changed to Syntax. By doing so, you can pause the code inspections check that uses IDE resources. If you are ready to make this change, go to the Inspections widget and the link you see at the bottom, use it. With this, you can change the highlighting level to either Syntax or None.

    • Use explicit type annotations for public methods– Public methods refer to public API. It is a type of abstraction. If API users investigate the public methods’ inner workings, it will break encapsulation and reduce code quality. With explicit type annotation for public API, you can ensure they are easy to use and well-recognized.

In addition to this, explicit result types can boost the code editing performance significantly. Did we mention that type annotation for public methods can speed up the incremental compilation while reducing the recompiled code?

The goal of the Kotlin team is to ensure a smooth working experience with this programming language and associated tools and libraries. Of course, they are constantly running tests to make it better with every passing day. But in most cases, the problems arise in real-life projects. 

So, if you do face any issues, you can get them fixed with your Kotlin Android development company. On the other hand, you can report it to the Kotlin team if you fail to find a solution. Here are the steps you must follow to create issues in YouTrack. Please, do not forget to mention the problem you are facing and attach the relevant logs. It will help the Kotlin team to investigate and find the appropriate solution. 

  • Describe the problem, and how and where it in the file did occur.
  • The next step is providing diagnostic information about the state of your CPU and memory. 
  • Make sure to attach the logs from IntelliJ IDEA. They must be made with the action -: Help → Collect Logs and Diagnostics data.
  • Include information related to the plugins, platform, and versions of IntelliJ IDEA.
  • Is your project publicly available? If yes, then attack a downloading link.
  • Also, describe some traits of your project, such as the number of modules, files, or classes.
  • If the issue arises when you are editing a file, do mention the approximate size of the file and the number of classes it contains. 

Do you think that Kotlin is the right choice for your upcoming app development? If so, hire Kotlin developers with years of experience in the field.

If you are searching for a reliable Kotlin app development company, get in touch with SoftProdigy. We house a team of experts who are committed to delivering top-notch services.