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HHVM Blog:
Hack Developer Day 2014 Keep Hacking
April 11, 2014 @ 09:40:00

On the Facebook HHVM blog today there's a post about the Hack Developer Day they recently held in Menlo Park. The event brought in developers for a day of presentations from the Hack/HHVM engineers.

150+ Members of the PHP and developer community came to Facebook headquarters and joined over 2000 people online for presentations by the engineers of Hack and HHVM. Afterwards we held a five hour hackathon, where the attendees worked with those engineers to write Hack code, either by converting current codebases or writing new code from scratch.

For those that weren't able to attend or are interested in catching up on what was presented, they've posted videos of all of the sessions in a YouTube playlist as well as PDFs of all the slides. If you want the short version of what was presented, there's a quick list in the post or you can read a recap on the Facebook Engineering blog.

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hack developer day facebook presentation video slides summary

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/4685/hack-developer-day-2014-keep-hacking

Pádraic Brady:
Is Facebook's HHVM Building PHP's Coffin?
April 01, 2014 @ 09:31:52

In a new post to his site, Pádraic Brady poses a question about the HHVM project from Facebook - is it going to "be the coffin" that will replace the Zend Engine in PHP completely and change the way we know it?

With HHVM 3.0 now released, it's probably time to start talking about HHVM and the new Hack Language. It's becoming hard to ignore some of the fantastical notions spreading on the grapevine about HHVM. There is talk of significant performance improvements, a multitude of new features courtesy of Hack, that PHP Internals is actually now outnumbered by HHVM contributors. There is even treasonous talk of PHP's Zend Engine being put out to pasture.

He talks about how it was inevitable, really, that there'd be another implementation come up through the ranks (much like the variations of Ruby). He also mentions some other, less popular options in replacing the main implementation (Zephir, HippyVM, etc). He then poses an interesting question - "what is PHP?" He talks about language specifications, the PHP internals group and the delay that sometimes happens introducing new language features into the core (some of which HHVM already has).

PHP, as we know it, is starting to smell. It has gone from being the only PHP in town, to being the slowest, with the least number of features, and the one that's subject to dysfunctional governance. The new PHP is called Hack, a new language with only the briefest of documentation since you can learn the other 99.9% of this language over on the PHP manual.
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hhvm hack facebook opinion future language

Link: http://blog.astrumfutura.com/2014/03/is-facebooks-hhvm-building-phps-coffin

HHVM Blog:
HHVM 3.0.0
March 31, 2014 @ 10:15:00

The HHVM blog has an exciting new post for those using the HHVM and Hack language - they've officially released version 3.0.0 with complete Hack support.

At our last major version bump (2.0.0), we basically became a whole new project. We switched from a "PHP -> C++" translator to a virtual machine. This version bump (3.0.0) is a much less dramatic code shift (we're still a VM, don't worry), but this time the big announcement is that we support a new language, Hack.

They take a step back in time and look at the changes since 2.0.0 in organization, technology and community involvement. From there, they get into "the business" of what's in this new release including:

  • The old webserver is gone. If you get something like Uncaught exception: no factory for server type "libevent", you need to switch to fastcgi.
  • We are moving from .hdf config files to .ini.
  • Our most requested extension, mysqli is now in. (there's currently a bug, but the fix will be in 3.0.1).

You can find out more about the HHVM on the project's main website.

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hhvm release hack support v3 project facebook

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/4349/hhvm-3-0-0

CiteWorld.com:
Facebook's Hack language a silver bullet for user-developers
March 26, 2014 @ 10:41:16

In this new post to CiteWorld.com, they're making the claim that the Hack language from the developers at Facebook is the "silver bullet for user-developers".

How do you modernize the way we build the web? That's the question at the heart of the release of a flurry of new languages and development platforms -- all from companies that run and build large scale web services. [...] While getting more out of CSS is good, as is replacing JavaScript; Facebook's HHVM and Hack combo is targeting one of the foundations of the modern web: rapid application development.

They talk some about the overall goals of Hack (improved performance, a stricter typing system) and include a brief example of some Hack code. They consider it to be a "more modern language" that brings PHP-based development up into a different level of languages. He also talks about HHVM a bit, migration from PHP to Hack and the potential for Hack to be adopted on other platforms outside of the current HHVM runtimes.

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hack facebook silverbullet language developer overview

Link: http://www.citeworld.com/development/23156/hack-future

Allan MacGregor:
Hello Hack
March 25, 2014 @ 09:50:33

Allan MacGregor has a new post to his site introducing you to Hack, the recently released language from Facebook based on their work with the HipHop virtual machine.

Recently Facebook unveiled Hack, a new programming language that aims to provide developers with the tools to write and ship code quickly while catching errors on the fly. Hack is as programming language designed to work with HHVM and the same time it works seamlessly with PHP as Facebook lead devs. [...] So does that mean that Hack is just a faster more efficient PHP implementation, right? Wrong, Hack is much more than that, the language brings features that are normally found in statically typed languages to the dynamically typed world of PHP.

He focuses in on the static typing functionality of Hack a bit more and includes an example of PHP code where Hack would catch the type shifting. He also briefly mentions some of the other features including built-in collections, traits, generics and asynchronous programming.

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hack facebook language introduction typing

Link: http://coderoncode.com/2014/03/23/hello-hack.html

Community News:
Facebook Releases the Hack Programming Language
March 21, 2014 @ 09:03:10

Yesterday marked a major point in the evolution of PHP and its ecosystem. Facebook released their version of PHP, Hack, based on the work they've been doing with the HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) and compiler.

Hack is a programming language for HHVM that interoperates seamlessly with PHP. Hack reconciles the fast development cycle of PHP with the discipline provided by static typing, while adding many features commonly found in other modern programming languages. Hack provides instantaneous type checking via a local server that watches the filesystem. It typically runs in less than 200 milliseconds, making it easy to integrate into your development workflow without introducing a noticeable delay.

One of the key features is that it mixes well with PHP and will feel very familiar for those already used to using PHP. The homepage for the language includes all the details you'll need to get started with it, including an interactive tutorial walking you through some of the basics. Some of the features included in the language are things like type annotations, generics, native collections and lambdas. You can find out more in their official announcement.

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hack facebook hhvm language announcement

Link: http://hacklang.org

Liip Blog:
Of HHVM, Hack and the future of PHP
March 12, 2014 @ 11:09:50

Lukas Smith has posted some of his own thoughts on the Liip blog about the future of PHP, HHVM and Hack (related to this previous post from Anthony Ferrara) in the context of the company and the work they're doing.

I want to specifically comment on the part about HHVM and Hack. I have of course published my own opinion on the topic fairly recently on my private blog. Fellow Liiper Chregu has also done a very popular post on this very blog showing some very significant performance improvements that can be achieved with HHVM. [...] While Anthony does not recommend running HHVM in production, we are obviously getting ready to do just that. I totally agree however with the risks he points out.

He talks more about using HHVM in a production environment and some of the possible problems with it in the future (like maybe a change in it being incompatible with PHP someday). He also touches on the Hack language and how it is possible that Facebook's team will go wholly with Hack instead of PHP.

One of the big questions is why does Facebook even care about PHP mode if they are already moving their own code to Hack? To me one big reason for this could be that they actually want to use code produced in the community. [...] So maybe in the end the best way to ensure that PHP mode in HHVM remains a goal for Facebook is to keep churning out high quality PHP code?
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hhvm hack facebook future language opinion

Link: http://blog.liip.ch/archive/2014/03/11/of-hhvm-hack-and-the-future-of-php.html

Anthony Ferrara:
An Opinion On The Future Of PHP
March 10, 2014 @ 09:41:40

In his latest post Anthony Ferrara shares some of his personal opinions about the future of PHP and how some of the pieces in play now might fit in.

There's been a lot of buzz in the community lately around PHP and its future. The vast majority of this buzz has been distinctly positive, which is awesome to hear. There's been a lot of talk about PHP6 and what that might look like. There's been a lot of questions around HHVM and its role in the future of the language and community. Well, let me share with you some of my thoughts in this space...

He covers a few different topics including backwards compatibility, the suggestions of a complete engine rewrite and turning the SPL all OOP. He spends most of the post talking about HHVM (the HipHop VM), how it compares to "plain old PHP" and why it's not exactly "magic".

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Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/03/an-opinion-on-future-of-php.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
A Look at Hack, the PHP Replacement in HHVM
February 20, 2014 @ 10:43:27

On the SitePoint PHP blog today Victor Berchet introduces HACK, the "replacement" for PHP inside the HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) from Facebook's development group. This is part two in the HACK/HHVM series.

HACK is an evolution of the PHP language designed to be safer, to enable better performance and to improve developer efficiency. Note that both HACK and PHP are equally supported by the HHVM. Despite the fact that HACK is in use at Facebook on all the production servers, only little info has leaked for now. In a nutshell, HACK is Facebook's PHP6 - it proposes to fix most of what's wrong with PHP today, while adding some new features like static typing along the way.

He starts with a look at typing and the static typing HACK uses instead of the dynamic typing of the normal PHP language. He mentions the "gradual typing" functionality, strict mode and the use of annotations. He also talks about XHP, the PHP extension that allows XML fragments to be translated into valid PHP (example included). He finishes off the post looking at a few other topics including asynchronous code execution, FastCGI support and the integrated debugger.

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hack facebook hhvm language introduction replacement

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/look-hack-php-replacement-hhvm

SitePoint PHP Blog:
HHVM and Hack - Can We Expect Them to Replace PHP?
February 13, 2014 @ 09:29:39

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post today that asks can we expect HACK and HHVM to replace PHP as an evolution of the PHP language and interpreter.

HHVM is intended to achieve both parity with the Zend Engine features and best possible performances. Facebook claims a 3x to 10x speed boost and 1/2 memory footprint by switching from PHP+APC to HHVM. Of course this is really application dependent (10x being for the FB code base). [...] Instead this article will focus on HACK which is an evolution of the PHP language designed to be safer, to enable better performance and to improve developer efficiency.

He starts off by helping you get an instance of HHVM up and running (via Vagrant) and create a simple HACK script. From there he gets into some of the more advanced HACK features like constructor argument promotion and collections. The talks some about typing, type hinting and the use of generics as well.

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hack hhvm facebook introduction tutorial type collection constructor

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/hhvm-hack-part-1/


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