Today is finished Haxe conference in Paris, my first time at WWX and in Paris (very nice place).
In this post I’d like to answer some questions that many friends ask me on Twitter about why use Haxe and if there are good news from WWX 2012.
First of all I’ve to say that Haxe community is so strong, with great people so engaged to evolve the technology and for me they are going in the right direction.
There are few points that I have in mind now and I’d like to share with you here:
- Why Haxe and not a JS framework
- Haxe and is future
- What is missing in Haxe now
- Haxe projects in the real world
Why Haxe and not a JS framework
After Adobe MAX 2011 I spent a lot of time to study which could be the best alternative of Flash Platform to prepare myself and my company to find an alternative in the worst cases, I was looking for a cross-platform technology with a good workflow from design concept to the delivery that could help me to target content on desktop, mobile, web and embedded systems too.
We spent last 5 years on developing Flash Platform softwares in a lots of devices, if I’ve to start think to do the same thing only in JS I probably change my skills from client side and GUI creation, to anything else, maybe Python or maybe… but during my searches I found Haxe and I’m excited about this technology.
The first thing make me happy was that I can use design patterns, micro-architectures, OOP in general so all my experience gains in Flash projects could be useful also with Haxe.
An Haxe project is written with a language similar to Actionscript or Java (so easy for us to port our knowledge in that direction), after that when you compile you have the executable file for any OS like iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, QNX OS and so on.
Another interesting thing is that is so fast to code with it, Haxe allows in few lines of code make cool things instead of native code and it’s so important for a company have fast delivery and targeting for more platform as possible, in this case Haxe is the right technology.
So the answer for the first question is that with Haxe you can easily use the same basecode and export your projects in different technologies targeting to different devices, re-use your knowledge and use real OOP language for client side purpose.
Haxe and is future
During WWX 2012 they show us the future of Haxe, during those days they release Haxe 2.09, by the end of this summer they are planning to release Haxe 3 and there are also some ideas for the 4th released.
The final idea behind Haxe is to create a unique language for all the targets and all the languages that you can work with Haxe.
They would like to work on tools and IDEs that are the most problem today with this great technology.
Main goal of Haxe 3 is optimization and evolution of code created for each targets, default imports that allow you to import all classes in a unique file for all the project, they has just created Haxe foundation and there are many things are boiling in pot.
The future of this platform seems so interesting first of all for the exciting community behind, after that because there haven’t any marketing goals that they have to achieve and this help the technology to grow in the right direction.
What is missing in Haxe now
The main problem today working with Haxe is that it’s not so “comfortable” environment like in Flash or Flex, there are many IDEs but they miss good tools for debugging (in particular in C++), for code coverage and so on.
Another big problem is that NME framework (the most interesting in my opinion) is not so well implemented in each IDEs so if you use FDT or Sublime Text with NME are more or less the same thing.
Finally the integration between design and code, it seems to come back of 5/6 years ago for me, it’s totally miss a good workflow to create stunning Graphic User Interfaces for Haxe, there is an interaction with Flash Libraries (take a look at SWFMill) but it’s not enough when you are in production mode, so for me the first investment on Haxe are on the environment.
Haxe projects in the real world
When I started to take a look at Haxe I tried to found some good case history but I found only games and not stunning applications, but during WWX I found that Prezi and other foreign companies are investing a lots on that technology and they delivered great stuff from web to mobile to tv applications… I’m pretty sure that in the future we will see other great projects made with Haxe because the power of this technology is really high and the future seems so interesting.
Finally I saw a couple of installation based on Haxe and OpenGL of interactive window that make me totally astonished, trust me that WWX was so inspiring for me, it seems to come back to my first conference around Europe like Flash on the Beach!
In my opinion I think that I found the right technology to focus myself in next few months hoping that could become the right solution also for my daily job and my company.
There are a lots of investment to do but we are only at the beginning, I’m sure that with the right boost Haxe could become an interesting client side technology for all the market fields.
For any further questions feel free to comment this post, it will be a pleasure for me exchange ideas or comments on Haxe!