Hack vs Kotlin: What are the differences?
Hack and Kotlin can be categorized as "Languages" tools.
"Interoperates seamlessly with php" is the top reason why over 5 developers like Hack, while over 28 developers mention "Interoperable with Java" as the leading cause for choosing Kotlin.
Kotlin is an open source tool with 28.3K GitHub stars and 3.28K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Kotlin's open source repository on GitHub.
Slack, 9GAG, and Rainist are some of the popular companies that use Kotlin, whereas Hack is used by Facebook, Slack, and Wizters. Kotlin has a broader approval, being mentioned in 268 company stacks & 208 developers stacks; compared to Hack, which is listed in 8 company stacks and 3 developer stacks.
What is Hack?
What is Kotlin?
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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.
As the WeWork footprint continued to expand, in mid-2018 the team began to explore the next generation of identity management to handle the global scale of the business.
The team decided to vet three languages for building microservices: Go, Kotlin, and Ruby. They compared the three by building a component of an identity system in each, and assessing the performance apples-to-apples.
After building out the systems and load testing each one, the team decided to implement the new system in Go for a few reasons. In addition to better performance under heavy loads, Go, according to the team, is a simpler language that will constrain developers to simpler code. Additionally, the development lifecycle is simpler with Go, since “there is little difference between running a service directly on a dev machine, to running it in a container, to running clustered instances of the service.”
In the implementation, they the Go grpc framework to handle various common infrastructure patterns, resulting in “in a clean common server pattern that we can reuse across our microservices.”
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.
Even though still a young language, it feels so at home sitting in the springboot frame and works with vaadin just great. And in itself it has like all the best parts of java, scala, python mixed into one.
We use Kotlin both in our Android App and increasingly in our polyglot backend services.