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Langs

Back from FOTB + Haxe Usage

Posted on Oct 02 2008

As always, FlashOnTheBeach was a great conference ! Very good talks, great time seeing again friends and meeting new people as well, a lot of fun, and very little sleep.

It's been 2 years now since I talked about Haxe at first FOTB, and it's very nice to see a lot of people getting more and more interested into it.

When I started working on a new programming language in 2005, I knew from the beginning that whatever the great features it will have, it will take several years to get it accepted by people. There's many reasons for that, but I guess the main ones are the following :

  • sadly, most of the time, people don't have time to learn new things
  • developers are quite conservative about their habits with a given language / IDE
  • I guess I'm better at writing software than documentation ;)
  • some companies are trying to avoid any risk by using "mainstream" technologies only, which I perfectly understand, although IMHO such behavior prevent some innovation opportunities
  • it's hard to convince people with a given technology features alone : they prefer concrete example and success stories

But it's okay that way, since Haxe was not developed for ego purposes but mostly to help me, Motion-Twin developers, and other developers that want to use Haxe, with our daily work. And lately there's been growing interest in Haxe, maybe related to the book being available ?

Anyway, for those that might still wonder about what kind of things you can do with Haxe, here's some of the people that have been answering to the What do you guys use Haxe for ? question that was posted on the mailing list a few days ago :

  • Elliott Carlson has been building 30 to 40 Haxe Flash Desktop applications by using ScreenWeaverHX
  • Luis Caraiso is using Haxe/Neko with C extensions for the automotive industry
  • Ian Liu is using Haxe for designing mathematical simulators
  • Michal Romecki is using Haxe to develop flash games at Prizee.com (one of the most popular french website)
  • Cristiano Pierandrei is going to teach Haxe at his university by using the NME graphical library
  • Michael Pliskin and his team are using Haxe for a lot of things at CoMapping
  • myself and at least six other developers are using Haxe for all of our websites at Motion-Twin, including the popular http://myminicity.com

You can read the whole thread in the mailing list archives to get more examples. We also have People and Projects pages on the Haxe website, which you can easily edit to add yours if you are a regular Haxe user.

What is really nice is that Haxe can be used in many different scenarios, making it a really very complete language.

5 comments
  • Oct 06, 2008 at 20:08

    I think it would be cool to get some case studies from these people to put on the website... A kind of selling tool, if you will!

  • Oct 24, 2008 at 00:26

    HaXe is incredible! I just started development with it about 4-5 months ago as a replacement for AS2/3. I implemented it for an application our company created for Myspace (Bunny Whaat?) in conjunction with a Flex UI. The app currently has 52,000 installs on Myspace and growing! HaXe is rock solid and a pleasure to use. I think the inclusion of the .net target with the CLI would be a fantastic push to put Haxe in the mainstream. Is there an update on this? Great job with Haxe, Nicolas, btw!

  • Oct 30, 2008 at 04:26

    I'm always looking for new ways to find that niche where I can have a lot of fun and actually make a difference. For this reason I prefer to avoid mainstream languages. I learned OCaml as part of one of my graduate classes and I've programmed in Javascript, Python, Ruby, and PHP for years. This has to be the coolest language I've seen in a long time. I've wondered why it's not used more, and now I think I know the answer, it's too new and too hard to get into. I'm currently trying to write a simple program that reads svg files, parses the xml and generates a flash image for an interactive template editor I'm working. The problem is I can't even find a single page of documentation of tutorial that tells me how to load an external file and parse it as xml. I ordered the book from Amazon, but it won't be here for another two weeks. It sure would be nice if there were more tutorials, or at least an example for each part of the standard library. Maybe include comments from users like php and others do.

  • Nov 03, 2008 at 15:01

    Hi Tim,

    I'm sure you already know that, but tutorials and documentation takes a lot of time to write.

    That's one of the reasons why the new Haxe Website on http://haxe.org is a Wiki system that let users add more content to it. Hope to see more tutorials getting added there by the Haxe community, while more people are using the language.

  • Nov 16, 2008 at 16:05

    It doesn't yet have a "killer" application.

    If you could make it bidirectional, then you would slam dunk, because someone could convert the output types to Haxe, then back to another output type. I haven't thought through whether it would be impossible to infer the strict typing (and other higher level capabilities of Haxe) from the prototypical output languages as input.

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