ELI5: Hack – Programming Productiveness With out Breaking Issues

This article was written in collaboration with Joe Previte, an open source developer advocate at Facebook.

In this post, we explain Hack, a programming language that focuses on productivity and type safety, in a way that is very easy to understand (or, as it is commonly known online, ELI5). If you want to learn by watching or listening, check out a video about this open source project on our Facebook Open Source Youtube channel.

Why hack

Developers like to move quickly. We want the fast development cycle of dynamically typed languages. However, sometimes this means sacrificing security features like static typing. What if you could have both? We wondered if we could create a programming language that would answer that question.

On Facebook we have thousands of engineers sending code several times a day. We needed a programming language that could keep up with our fast pace. We created Hack, a programming language designed to increase developer productivity while preventing them from breaking the code base.

Hack provides engineers with fast feedback loops to evolve faster while also considering the security of static input. Type checking can stay fast by type checking your files step by step as you edit them. This functionality can be integrated so seamlessly into your workflow that you hardly notice it. We designed it specifically for HHVM, a powerful runtime for your hack applications. It’s also open source and available on GitHub.

Where is it used?

Hack was offered as an open source version in March 2014. It is currently heavily used on Facebook, and companies like Slack and Box have added Hack to their stack as well.

Where can i learn more?

To learn more about hack, visit the website. It provides excellent documentation for developers who are just starting out and developers who want to use more advanced features. If you want to see Hack in action, you can install it locally by following the Getting Started guide. If you have any questions, you can go to Hack’s Facebook group or Hack’s Twitter.

If you have any further questions about Hack, please let us know on our YouTube channel or tweet us at.

About the ELI5 series

In a series of short videos (around 1 minute long), one of our developer attorneys on the Facebook Open Source team explains a Facebook Open Source project in a way that is easy to understand and use.

For each of these videos we are writing an accompanying blog post (like the one you are reading now) that you can find on our YouTube channel.

To learn more about Facebook Open Source, visit our Open Source website, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Would you like to work with open source on Facebook? Check out our open source related job postings on our careers page by taking this quick survey.

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