Elixir vs Hack: What are the differences?
Elixir: Dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications. Elixir leverages the Erlang VM, known for running low-latency, distributed and fault-tolerant systems, while also being successfully used in web development and the embedded software domain; Hack: A programming language for HHVM that interoperates seamlessly with PHP. 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.
Elixir and Hack belong to "Languages" category of the tech stack.
"Concurrency" is the top reason why over 124 developers like Elixir, while over 5 developers mention "Interoperates seamlessly with php" as the leading cause for choosing Hack.
Elixir is an open source tool with 15.6K GitHub stars and 2.22K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Elixir's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Elixir has a broader approval, being mentioned in 177 company stacks & 190 developers stacks; compared to Hack, which is listed in 8 company stacks and 3 developer stacks.
What is Elixir?
What is Hack?
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Throughout 2016, Slack began migrating from PHP5 to Hack. They cite several well-known challenges inherent to PHP, including surprise type conversions, inconsistency around reference semantics, inconsistencies in the standard library, and the fact that “PHP tries very, very hard to keep the request running, even if it has done something deeply strange.”
To overcome these challenges while maintaining the unique values of PHP, Slack turned to Hack, a gradual typing system for PHP. Hack runs on the HipHop Virtual Machine, or HHVM, an open source just-in-time (JIT) environment for PHP.
Postmates built a tool called Bazaar that helps onboard new partners and handles several routine tasks, like nightly emails to merchants alerting them about items that are out of stock.
Since they ran Bazaar across multiple instances, the team needed to avoid sending multiple emails to their partners by obtaining lock across multiple hosts. To solve their challenge, they created and open sourced ConsulMutEx, and an Elixir module for acquiring and releasing locks with Consul and other backends.
It works with Consul’s KV store, as well as other backends, including ets, Erlang’s in-memory database.
Since the beginning, Cal Henderson has been the CTO of Slack. Earlier this year, he commented on a Quora question summarizing their current stack.Apps
- Desktop: And Electron to ship it as a desktop application.
- Android: a mix of Java and Kotlin.
- iOS: written in a mix of Objective C and Swift.
- The core application and the API written in PHP/Hack that runs on HHVM.
- The data is stored in MySQL using Vitess.
- Caching is done using Memcached and MCRouter.
- The search service takes help from SolrCloud, with various Java services.
- The messaging system uses WebSockets with many services in Java and Go.
- Load balancing is done using HAproxy with Consul for configuration.
- Most services talk to each other over gRPC,
- Some Thrift and JSON-over-HTTP
- Voice and video calling service was built in Elixir.
- Built using open source tools including Presto, Spark, Airflow, Hadoop and Kafka.
Another major decision was to adopt Elixir and Phoenix Framework - the DX (Developer eXperience) is pretty similar to what we know from RoR, but this tech is running on the top of rock-solid Erlang platform which is powering planet-scale telecom solutions for 20+ years. So we're getting pretty much the best from both worlds: minimum friction & smart conventions that eliminate the excessive boilerplate AND highly concurrent EVM (Erlang's Virtual Machine) that makes all the scalability problems vanish. The transition was very smooth - none of Ruby developers we had decided to leave because of Elixir. What is more, we kept recruiting Ruby developers w/o any requirement regarding Elixir proficiency & we still were able to educate them internally in almost no time. Obviously Elixir comes with some more tools in the stack: Credo , Hex , AppSignal (required to properly monitor BEAM apps).
i've give a try to Ruby, Crystal, Python and GO, and yeah, for web development i use Elixir-Phoenix, because idk why just amazing, my phoenix app is very stable (comparing to api that written in other language), Ruby is slow, Crystal has unstable API, GO, umm yeah, you need too complicated (i use golang for microservice)
Huge boon to productivity when coupled with Phoenix. Moreover, it has made background jobs and all the unseen aspects of a business easily abstracted.