When comparing LiveCode vs Xtend, the Slant community recommends LiveCode for most people. In the question“What is the best programming language to learn first?” LiveCode is ranked 39th while Xtend is ranked 63rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Fast to get results
Inside LiveCode's IDE you can build for OSX, Linux and Windows, and (making use of Xcode and the Android SDK) for iOS and Android too
Pro Extremely simple to get started
Single-click install of entire development environment, and all-in-one IDE makes it easy to go from visually layout out a user interface to writing code to power it to creating your own single-file applications.
Pro GUI-driven development
In LiveCode, you start by dropping GUI elements into place, then add the code that makes them function. This lets beginners see visual results right away, which is often more exciting (especially for young students). It also lets you focus on the user interaction before you get into the nitty-gritty of code implementation.
Pro Approachable yet capable language
Pro Highest ROI compared to other popular cross-platform development tools
Fluid production - from prototyping to delivery in one toolkit. With a high-level language that includes GUI controls as native elements, code more directly expresses the end-user experience. And the platform coverage is awesome, nearly unmatched.
Pro Ruby-like syntactic conveniences
Lambdas are written like Smalltalk's blocks. If it's the last argument, it can go after the parentheses like Ruby's blocks. Parentheses on method calls are optional.
Pro Type inference
It uses Java's static type system, but you don't have to declare the type of everything all the time, since the Xtend compiler can usually figure it out. This also dramatically cuts down on Java's infamous verbosity.
Pro Code runs just as fast as Java
Because Xtend relies heavily on JDK and Android classes, it runs just as fast as native Java code.
Pro Easy to switch back to Java
Xtend is a low-risk option. Because it compiles to human-readable Java, if you decide you don't like it for your project, you can just switch back to Java without losing your work.
Pro Extend even library classes with new methods
This is where it gets its name. You can open classes and add new methods, kind of like Ruby. (Of course this has to be compiled to Java, so really it lives in a kind of helper class.)
Uses functional features ,which are very concise and idiomatic. Plus it has annotations, which cuts down on the Java boilerplate.
Pro Better defaults than Java
Methods are public if you don't specify, and fields are private. Locals declared with
val in Xtend are
final in Java. This dramatically cuts down on Java's infamous verbosity.
Con fringe use
Con Poor ecosystem
Not a mainstream programming language.
Con Difficult to configure in Android Studio
Con Slower compilation
Unlike most JVM languages, Xtend compiles to Java rather than directly to JVM bytecode. So you have to compile everything four times for Android: from Xtend to Java, from Java to JVM bytecode (.class files), from .class to .dex bytecode, and then AOT compilation from .dex to native ARM upon installation. This can really slow down development and testing vs a more interactive language like Clojure.