What is HHVM and hack programming language?

What is Hack

Hack programming language has been developed for HHVM (Hip-hop Virtual Machine) by the engineers at Facebook. It is a dialect of PHP programing language. It is licensed under MIT license and can be considered as an open-source programming language.

One of the most prominent features that you can find in Hack is that it provides the ability for the programmers to go ahead and use both static typing and dynamic typing. This kind of typing system is known as gradual typing. It has been implemented within a few other programming languages such as ActionScript. The type system that you can find in Hack will provide you with the chance to go ahead with specific function return values, function arguments, and class properties. However, different local variables cannot be specified and they are always inferred.

History of Hack

Hack programming language was introduced back in 2014. Facebook implemented this programming language way before its official announcement. In fact, Facebook tested the applications of programming language on its website before releasing it to the public. As a result, developers got the opportunity to use a tested and solid programming language.

Deep roots of the Hack programming language lies within PHP. In fact, PHP files are valid hack files. Therefore, developers who are familiar with PHP will find it an easy task to use Hack and get their work done. The biggest difference that you can find in Hack is that it has eliminated the features that are incompatible along with static typing. Instead, many other features are introduced within the objective of enhancing the overall productivity of developers who work along with the programming language.

Pros of Hack programming language

Here’s a list of some of the benefits that can be achieved with Hack programming language. 

  • Easy for the PHP developers to start using the API 

PHP developers will find it an easy task to start using the API. The day to day tasks that PHP developers have to do is quite cumbersome and tricky. However, such overheads will be eliminated by Hack. This can provide motivation for the PHP developers to go ahead with their development activities. 

For example, if a method is called on a null object, developers will need to wait until the runtime to catch it. However, Hack will be able to provide it beforehand. On the other hand, developers who are working on a complex API will be able to keep a solid understanding of semantics without going through mundane methods available in the documentation.

This programming language is defined to ensure rapid transformation for the developers. When a large number of developers are working on a project, there is a high possibility to save time while using it. It can provide all the support needed to overcome the troubles. 

  • Removal of unwanted features in PHP 

Hack is developed with the removal of unwanted features that you can find in PHP. Along with the removal of error-prone features, it is possible to get a better experience out of Hack programming language. It will be able to add a safety net for the developers without slowing them down. Hence, you can make sure that you are making fewer errors while using it. It can also provide a variety of features that are available in modern programming languages. Hence, there is no need to worry about anything while using this language. It can make writing code an enjoyable experience for the developers.

You can call Hack as a statically typed and dynamically typed web development language available out there to consider. It can provide the best possible results offered by a programming language. This concept is called gradual typing. It can provide the ability for the developers to declare variables at the run time as well as compile time. It is possible for the developers to run the code without compiling. Moreover, it is also possible for them to reload a web page or edit a file and see the changes that are made instantly.

Cons of Hack programming language 

There are some cons associated with the Hack programming language as well. Before you get your hands on the programming language, it is worthy to have a basic understanding of these cons. Then you can figure out what exactly you are getting out of it.

  • It has abandoned some features that make PHP easy 

When you deep dive and take a look at Hack programming language, you will figure out that it has abandoned some of the features that make PHP a simple programming language. Therefore, Hack is not the simplest programming language that is available for beginners to use.

For example, there is no possibility to embed HTML directly into the source code. On the other hand, there is no possibility to write the code outside a class or function as well. However, this can still be considered a relatively easy problem to deal with. When you take a look at the list of advantages, you will figure out that it is worthy to get started with using Hack programming language.

Future of Hack

Facebook is already using Hack as the programming language on the website. It is serving more than 1.2 billion individuals out there in the world. Hence, you can call it a great example of a prominent programming language available to consider. 

The future of Hack programming language looks promising as well. That’s because the PHP community will be able to adapt to the new changes in hack programming language. Since it is an open-source language, the programmers will find it an easy task to get used to the language and complete their tasks as well. This can make life easy for engineers as well as a community that relies on the applications of this language.