[section_title title=part 22]
4. Hack: It is no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg’s titanic website-based corporation, Facebook, made this list. Facebook launched the dynamic language Hack in early 2014, which runs on the HipHop Virtual Machine, a feature that converts PHP code into high-level bytecode to make performance better. But what really makes Hack stellar? For obvious reasons, Facebook every minute processes countless interactions with users, making Hack even more critical. In many ways, Facebook has already produced a litmus test to attest to Hack’s power: Facebook has migrated a majority of its PHP code to Hack, which proves its web applicability is phenomenal, especially since Facebook has increased its functionality without compromising its speed. So where does Hack come into play? Hack allows developers to weave web constructs dynamically, a feature known as dynamic typing.
Why is this awesome? Hack allows Facebook and other websites to be developed faster and more error free. HHVM includes a type checker that warns you of any errors, even prior to running the application, by monitoring variable declarations. For companies that have hundreds of programmers sending in code snippets daily, monitoring for bugs proves tedious. Hack solves that issue by giving programmers the aforementioned power to efficiently remove common bugs. And while many of the languages on this list are yet to go into major use publicly, Hack already is flexing its muscles live on the Web. While his personal involvement in developing Hack is unclear, Mark Zuckerberg and his company deserves a round of applause for such an groundbreaking accomplishment.
5. Ceylon: While sharing the old name of the island Sri Lanka, whose language is predominantly Sinhalese and Tamil, Ceylon is also the name of a programming language that was founded in 2011 by a multi-national software company known as Red Hat. The shared name is no coincidence: Ceylon seems to be a Java replacement, and as Java is an island known for Coffee, Ceylon, or Sri Lanka, is similarly known for Coffee. But wordplay aside, what really does Ceylon offer? Based on Java (the language, not island), Ceylon features a valiant promise about what it is made for: “Ceylon is a language for writing large programs in teams.”
So what was Ceylon created for? Not only did the project aim at creating better-structured data systems and stronger higher-order functions, but it tackled an issue of meta-programming: when the code enters an “inception-complex,” where code modifies code. The language is boasted by users as “readable” and “predictable,” issuing a promise of clarity upon use. The target is Java’s alleged outdated syntax, and Gavin King, the founder, argues that Ceylon is more readable than Java, comparing its robust architecture to something more modern such as C#. But King also announced something bigger: not only is Ceylon an entirely new language, but it will also feature an entire class library, much like Java has in SDK.
Why should we care? Ceylon makes programming in groups not only more efficient, but also less stressful. Seen often as a competitor to the aforementioned Java, Ceylon boasts a strong poker hand of having both server-side-development and front-end-development and stronger flexibility. While such competition may sounds like a muscle contest between two bodybuilders, it can be safely concluded that more options on the table is always better.
7. Fancy: An object-oriented language created by Christopher Bertels in 2010, Fancy is a relatively new language based on Ruby, Smalltalk (what a great name), and Erlang. Fancy, as described by Bertels, is a mix of features of the major languages established above. Bertels concerned himself with the semantics of a language by giving Fancy more inherent features, as opposed to other languages that depend primarily on a major library. Fancy is rather new, and in many ways, still in development, but for veteran programmers in the previous languages, Fancy may prove to be helpful in creating a more modern framework.
Why is this awesome? First thing’s first, this is the realest solution to modern integration with Ruby. But pop culture jokes aside (look up Iggy Alazea’s “Fancy” Lyrics if you didn’t catch it), Fancy can coexist with Ruby and interaction between the two is not difficult or complicated. So, if you have ever dabbled in Ruby, take a look at Fancy because it may just be your cup of tea.
With multiple minor languages unmentioned, it could be safe to conclude that the programming world is as busy as ever. That isn’t to say that there shouldn’t be more. Gilad Bracha, a software engineer from Google, noted recently that the more web languages, the better, since designers can pick and choose which language best feeds their interests. After reviewing and researching all of the above, I can safely say that the world of computer software, an always optimistic field, shows true promise.
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