Scala tip: import renames

In Java, you often write things like this, which are rather verbose:


Since Java 1.5 you can use static imports, but then you are stuck with the original function names as is, encode(...) and decode(...).

A cool feature of Scala is that imports support renaming, so you can write instead:

import{encode ⇒ encodeURL}
import{decode ⇒ decodeURL}

And then you just use the functions under their new name:


This is neat if you have to use these functions many times in a given file.

Another common use of renames is to reduce name clashes. For example, Scala already has a number of things named Map. If you are using a Java API expecting a java.util.Map, you are likely to get name clashes.

In Java, you would probably resort to full qualification, e.g. java.util.Map, and you can do the same in Scala, but that’s verbose. With renaming, you can write things like:

import java.util.{Map ⇒ JMap, List ⇒ JList}

And then use the Java Map as JMap and the Java List as JList. Nothing is changed at the VM level: it’s the same classes, but you now have a nice, short alias for them in the scope of the imports.