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Professional haXe and Neko [Paperback]

Franco Ponticelli , Lee McColl-Sylveste

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Book Description

Feb. 11 2008 Programmer to Programmer

haXe is a new programming language whose features are mainly coming from object-oriented languages such as Java. Other features are taken from more dynamic Scripting languages as well as from Functional languages. It is a language, a complier, and a framework of classes designed to help developers write clean code. It opens up the world of application development and reduces the learning curve while minimizing potential roadblocks.

It is difficult to write a book on haXe because there are so many possibilities that the language can provide. It is able to target three platforms: JavaScript, Flash, and Neko. It opens a lot of doors for web developers. The combination of these different technologies makes it possible to create things today that were hard to imagine yesterday. haXe makes it possible to develop applications targeting multiple platforms very quickly.

Neko is a cross-platform virtual machine and it acts as one of the targets of the haXe complier. It is lightweight, fast, and flexible. It can be embedded and requires a small footprint that makes it practically invisible. When combined with haXe, it can open a lot of doors to pure web development (e.g., real-time servers and console and desktop applications).

This book is for web developers who would like to work with a unified environment while at the same time reducing the number of languages required to produce a single software solution. Although you don’t have to be a veteran programmer to utilize the information in this book, it helps if you have already programmed in ActionScript, Java, or another ECMA standard language.

The material in this book is split into three parts based on the content that each part is discussing. The first part of the book focuses mainly on the basics of the haXe programming language. Details are given about the language structure, standard libraries, and programming practices. If you are an experienced haXe programmer you can probably skip this section. Those who are familiar with programming but are new to haXe can go through the first section easily and look mainly at the code examples and tables that detail the classes and commands required to develop in haXe.

The second part of the book covers the practical uses of haXe, including the production of Flash movies and dynamic content for websites. This part is useful to programmers of any skill level. This section also contains references to platform-specific classes defined in the standard library (the core framework that comes with the haXe base installation).

The third part of the book is dedicated to the advanced developer who wants to use haXe for all it has to offer. It also discusses how to extend haXe with existing libraries or how to use haXe outside of the conventional web environment.

In order to use this book you need to have a computer that operates on Windows, Linux, or either type of Apple Macintosh. All of the tools described in the book are open source and are available for download on the internet (for free!).

Franco Ponticelli graduated with a degree in architecture with a specialization in industrial design. Within the Information Technology area, he was involved in many different activities ranging from 3D Computer Graphics to software development. He discovered haXe through his research to find the perfect development environment.

Lee-McColl Sylvester is an expert in ActionScript developing and is knowledge about in systems integrations. He studied visual communications and supplemented his career by specializing in advanced graphical interface development and information management systems.

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From the Back Cover

Professional haXe and Neko

haXe is an exciting new programming language, as well as a compiler and a framework, that can be used to build web applications and write code aimed at multiple platforms on an array of operating systems. Neko is a fast, flexible, and reliable cross-platform virtual machine that allows for the execution of haXe applications on Windows®, Mac®, or Linux® desktops. As the first title to focus on haXe and Neko, this book walks you through unleashing the potential of these two free tools in order to use them to develop desktop and web based applications, including server-side and client side logic, using a single language. Step-by-step instructions and helpful examples uncover adventurous ways to build dynamic, database-driven web sites with Ajax-powered pages and eye-catching Flash content—all with using only the solitary language of haXe.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to install and use haXe

  • Tips for understanding functions and variables in haXe

  • How to build desktop applications using Flash, native GUI frameworks and SDL

  • How to communicate effectively between Flash®, JavaScript® and the Server

  • Tips for understanding functions, variables and Object Oriented Programming in haXe

  • Techniques for building reusable code

  • The benefits of haXe advanced features such as templates, reflection,XML and cross-complication

Who this book is for
This book is for web developers who are looking to reduce the number of languages that are required to produce a single software solution. Experience with ActionScript, Java, or another ECMA language is helpful but not required.

Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

About the Author

Franco Ponticelli is an experienced developer and solution architect. An Architecture Graduate with specialization in Industrial Design, he performed many different activities in the Information Technology area from 3D Computer Graphics to hard - core software development. In his continual research for the perfect development environment, he found haXe and fell in love.
Franco is currently a self - employed developer and you can reach him on his personal website www.weblob.net.

Lee McColl-Sylvester is an expert ActionScript developer as well as a seasoned master in systems integrations. A student in Visual Communications, he evolved his career specializing in advanced graphical interface development, as well as information management systems, database architecture, and hardware communications implementation. An inventor at heart, Lee discovered haXe while tinkering in the Open Source Flash arena.
Lee is self - employed and can be reached through the haXe mailing list, or his website www.designrealm.co.uk.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars haXe: Bringing order back to the Web Nov. 11 2008
By J. Donaldson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The "Web based language" haXe focuses on targeting a variety of web platforms directly with a single syntax. However, haXe is not just a framework like Ruby on Rails. Instead, it targets virtual machines at the bytecode level where possible. With a single class file, it is possible to produce javascript, php, SWF objects, etc.

What is even more impressive is that haXe is able to provide these targets with expressive type checking capabilities, enabling better debugging facilities, while also improving execution efficiency in many cases.

The authors do a great job of introducing the specifics of the language, and help the reader wrap their head around the kind of inter-platform functionality that haXe makes possible.

The only negative for this book is the fact that it is slightly outdated, given that it was written for haXe 1.15, while haXe itself has recently hit version 2.0. However, if you're looking for a comprehensive introduction to what haXe is all about, I would still recommend buying this book, and also subscribing to the haXe mailing list to stay on top of all the new features the language is offering.

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