Discovering HaXe!

Javascript is per-se the standard when it comes to client side web programming. Every browser supports it, it requires no plugin, it can manipulate the web page directly. It was already there 20 years ago, when the first browser was born, but, surprisingly, it started only recently to be heavily used for “rich clients” which also took quite some time to appear given the already existing technology.

Javascript is all good and nice, it was well designed by its creators, however it might not always be the most practical one as the code grows bigger and bigger. Errors are caught when testing it, it may be hard to debug, it lacks of features like packages, interfaces, visibility, proper classes, etc.

This is where HaXe comes in! It is a full-featured OO programming language that can be compiled into javascript, among others (and also for server-side targets). I experimented with it today, and I must say I’m quite pleased! It has all the features of a modern OO language and a little more. It is statically typed, enabling you to catch errors at compile time. You have code autocompletion, etc. You are basically more productive and produce code which is both better structured and safer.

Moreover, it also enables you to use it for the server side and compile it into neko, PHP or C++. I personally find the template engine not the fanciest but it’s ok. The libraries/documentation currently available for it are currently a bit limited, but should already cover the most basics you need. I highly recommend it, it is definitely a gem!


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