Monday, 24 August 2015

Hack Codegen - Facebook Open-Sources Code That Writes Code

By Rohit Saith  |  22:36 No comments

Facebook has open-sourced Hack Codegen – its library for automatically generating Hack code, allowing outside developers to automate some of their routine work while developing large programs. HACK is the Facebook's own programming language designed to build complex web sites and other software quickly and without many flaws. HACK programming language is developed for HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) – an open-source virtual machine designed to execute programs written in Hack and PHP. The top 20 open source frameworks on Github run on HHVM.


HACK CodeGen is Now Open Source


While making the announcement of open-sourcing Hack Codegen, which automatically generates hack code, Facebook's software engineer Alejandro Marcu said in a blog post:

Before Hack Codegen, Facebook engineers used concatenating strings to generate code that perform simple yet frequently executed tasks, like fetching birthday of a user. However, the social media giant later discovered that the technique was not good enough to scale up and realized that it need a good library to generate code. This results in the birth of Hack Codegen.

Code That Writes Code


Hack Codegen simplifies code generation by helping developers create a schema, which holds code for multiple times usage, and a way to generate all the related functionality required to support that code. The library only needs a developer to provide the required details about the particular implementation, although rest of the task is done by the software, such as generation of classes, variables, methods, functions, interfaces, files, and other standard blocks of code.

The Hack Codegen library includes:


Hack_builder to deal with the concatenation
New lines
Indentation
Braces
Hack keywords
Collections
Signed files to re-generate code automatically when a schema is changed

The open-source version of Hack Codegen is available on GitHub.

Author: Rohit Saith

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