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Scala's compile speed (with incremental compiles) is generally acceptable if you have reasonable dependency patterns. If you have cyclic dependencies, it's a problem. However, cyclic dependencies are signs of things that are wrong in development practices that can't be blamed on the language.

You mentioned flight control systems: those are unlikely to be written in Scala, being real-time systems, but if one were, it would not need to be compiled and recompiled on the fly.

Scala's a great language but it's not the right language for every problem. No language is.

Good non-answer.

For many large, non-trivial systems have several requirements: - tends to have complex dependencies - needs fast builds

This was a classic: http://www.amazon.com/Large-Scale-Software-Design-John-Lakos...

Essentially how to design C++ systems so that incremental compiles don't sink you. Developer productivity is important.

Scala is badly failing on this front IMO, it reminds me of the old bad days of C++ in a major way.

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