Wednesday, 3 August 2011

New HaXe book: a secret weapon under the spot.

I'm a veteran game developper, I've done it for decades.

Then when I had to learn web dev, it was disturbing; I got to learn completely new stacks to come up to speed (in fact even 'stack' was a new word for me).
I was kind of lost, there was so much new stuff; html, css, javascript, php, actionscript and obviously had to get rid of most static typing and functionnal programming I just started to love (think Scala, Haskell, etc..).

So at that time; I was dreaming of it; a blessing, wonderful language, which could compile to all targets, in which I could use functionnal programming, static typing and the whole backed with a very responsive IDE with backed-by-compiler completion, etc.. (i.e. you know what I'm not thinking about).
You know, the silver bullet..

Then I recall that MotionTwin was using.. the HaXe language thanks to Nicolas Canasse, it's creator.

At that time I was not so sure about how usable it would be; So I gave it a shot.
Damn, it was the second best decision I've made (the first being looking at SICP lectures which revive my declining interest into programming).

Why the hell aren't more people using haXe? It's AWESOME.
HaXe does not have the most advanced type system ever (don't underestimate it; it's quite above the averages) nor the most beautiful syntax or anything like that.
haXe has evolved and is evolving from very pragmatic choices done by some very smart people using it for real life job over many years, taking care of specific targets implementation for great good.
That's why haXe is also called "The ultimate web language" (and surely cross-platform with its Cpp and upcoming Java and C# backends).

I think haXe is not really well known because first; it's a wonderful Secret Weapon that's too good to be true, most people would think it's just buzz words for another crappy solution, second; there's not enough commercial push behind it.
If you don't know it yet; help yourself; give it a go!

When I've started it, it tooks me some time to find/discover the best practices; I would have loved to have a backed-by-examples introduction book.
However, it's difficult to cover haxe and all its features in a unique book; it would take a tree per book, it would be discouraging and that's not requiered.
No, what you're really looking for while starting is having some representative job done so that you can make a decision about it.

Happily Benjamin Dasnois has done it! here it is;

haXe 2 Beginner's Guide
haXe 2 Beginner’s Guide

'Haxe 2 beginners guide' is really succeeding at giving a very easy, progressive introduction to haxe.
It covers the most important topics with a lot of good examples backed with structured explanations.
You'll never be lost and in addition, Benjamin is kind to introduce the very neat tricks every seasonned haxe developper must know.

It tries (and succeed) bringing beginners up to speed on most targets and shows you how to use haXe and the tools that are part of the ecosystem to deliver real product.
You'll end up knowing how to do most jobs done very effectively and you'll then start to look at things with a new perspective; it's a game changer!

I would have loved it was released some years back as it is really a book that takes you by the hand and shows you the way.. Thanks Benjamin!

Feel free to comment on your experience with haXe as it deserves it!

Oh!.. and for those missing a fully functional API; there's the wondeful Stax functional API by