- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Packt Publishing Limited (July 26, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849512566
- ISBN-13: 978-1849512565
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 581 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
haXe 2 Beginner's Guide Paperback – 26 July 2011
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Amazon Global Store US
About the Author
Benjamin Dasnois has always been fascinated by open source software and as such, has been giving courses about Linux in an IT school in France. In the meantime, Benjamin has been following and working with haXe since its beginning and uses it in his professional life. He now works on an open source project, started the integration of haXe into it, and made it work with the technologies that were already in use.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
My main complaint is to extreme brevity. Of course a small size is good for a book, but text often doesn't explain why things are so as they are, only enlists strict facts about the language without discussion, gets you know about alternatives or providing a list of advantages and disadvantages. OOP concepts definitions from my point of view are currently poor and I'm sure that it should be said in preface that a reader must be familiar with at least one OOP language to follow the author's ideas easily.
The other thing I was very disappointed about is a low quality of the code snippets. Examples contain dead code, number of compile errors, absence of single code style and bad indentation. Also almost everywhere in the book single line comments spread across several lines and that produces errors after copying code into a text editor. As a result there's a strong feeling of incompleteness and mediocrity. Hope it will be corrected as soon as possible.
In my opinion there are still enough unexposed places in the book without further references (e.g. how I can make types comparable, what is the range of integer, performance discussion and targets nuances). Some links to the documentation or even well-known discussions in mailing lists would be very useful if it is not possible to include that information into the book.
There are several things I would recommend to add to this book. A full description of haxe compiler options because it's not clear how to work with the given examples. More steps how to setup environment for running examples for those who is unfamiliar with described target platform. Also I think that there should be more explanation and some comparisons with other languages to know why one should prefer haxe instead of using them. A fair description of current haXe problems and their possible solutions could enclose a useful chapter. And surely I should mention that book doesn't consider C++ target and has no information about macroses.
On the other hand I was glad to get know about templates and SPOD library in haXe and will definitely try to play with them closer. There is a good chapter how to feel comfortable in the community that is very important for haxe beginners.
On the whole "haXe 2 Beginner's Guide" in current version is an overview of some haXe possibilities. It could be useful for those who is familiar with OOP concepts and wants to see main features of haxe without a lot of details but with some examples.
haXe is a powerful language which provides many features, and gives to developers a tool to create websites, and applications. Thanks to its cross-platform features, it brings ease to target different platforms using a single unified programming language.
In this book, Benjamin Dasnois made a great job of introducing the specifics of the language.
The book is really easy to read, and at first sight, it is aimed for beginners, but not only because I was surprised to learn stuff I never tried to do before, and to reinforce my knowledges in some area like how different applications can communicate between each other (Chapter 7 : Communication between haXe programs).
The chapters of the book are cleverly well structured.
The "Time for action" heading followed by the "What just happened ?" make this book so enjoyable to read.
Like a recipe, you just have to follow instructions and then you can ta(e)ste it. The second heading gives clear explanations about how tasks or instructions work.
The only negative for this book to me is that C++ which is a haXe target that I didn't experimented yet, isn't covered, so I expected to read some stuff about it.
If you're looking for a comprehensive introduction to what haXe is all about, or if you're a beginner or an intermediate haXe developer who want to fill gaps in your knowledge, I really would recommend buying this book.
Anyway, subscribe to the haXe mailing list and stay tuned for all the new features the language is offering.
I don't consider myself an absolute beginner but, with only a year's experience with the language, I have much to learn. Besides, my main focus has been Flash development and there is a lot more to haXe than creating SWF files.
This was part of the appeal to learning haXe in the first place - to not be tied to a single platform and to equip myself with the skills and knowledge to diversify if and when I need to or want to.
So how does haXe 2; Beginner's Guide help with this?
Well, I've started learning how to develop on the PHP target after studying this book. I've been planning on doing this anyway but now I'm a little ahead of myself. I also tried using SPOD for the first time (and think it is a great feature!). I was aware of SPOD before reading the book but the simple blog exercise in Chapters 8 and 9 made it very accessible to me - it turns out the basics are not that difficult after all.
Reading the book has also prompted me to look further into templating in haXe and I'm now considering using this feature to generate XML files for an upcoming project.
Would I have learnt about these features without reading this book? Probably. However, a book like this helps to accelerate learning by providing the relevant information to get started in a single place. It is hard to find the time to learn new things and I am more than happy to get help with this.
I found the book to be written in a very clear and accessible way and the information and advice contained in it is more than adequate to assist with getting started with haXe development.
The content of the book is also nicely structured - each chapter begins with a gentle intro to a topic that culminates with a `have-a-go-hero' practical activity.
The book also follows a logical order with chapters building on what has been revealed in the preceding chapters - very conducive to learning being both continuous and progressive. This seems like an obvious thing to get right but isn't always the case. I get a sense that a lot of thought has been put into it. It could work well as a textbook to teach programming through haXe in schools.
The book is far from being a definitive guide to haXe though, nor does it claim to be by the fact that it is marketed as a beginner's guide. There is no mention of specific third party APIs although haxelib (a common repository for community libraries) is mentioned in the Preface. There is also no coverage of the CPP target but this is probably beyond the scope of an introductory book and really merits a book of it's own.
So would I recommend this book?
Absolutely. This book is ideal for developers with no experience with haXe and also intermediate haXe developers with gaps in their knowledge and for those developers who are specialized in one area of haXe development but want to start broadening their knowledge.