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Non-Intrusively Adding Haxe to Your Javascript Setup

Installing haxe is very easy coming from the javascript side. In fact, the way I recommend to install haxe generally is to use lix, which is an npm package (also available on yarn). The only time I’d advise against that is if you don’t want to have npm on your system.

So if you already have a directory with a package.json (if not, run npm init), then you can install lix locally:

npm install --save lix

Generally I recommend installing globally (-g), but you don’t have to to be able to use it. So if you just want to try out haxe in one js project, you can install it locally, then use npx to run lix. To create a .haxerc with the latest version of haxe:

npx lix scope create

You can also install different versions of haxe if you wish and that will modify .haxerc accordingly. For example, to get the nightly build:

npx lix install haxe nightly

Note that this will change .haxerc to point to the nightly at the time you run it. You must run this again if you wish to update again, as you’d probably expect. The haxe compiler itself is also available through npx as lix provides a shim for that. Same thing for haxelib. The first time you run haxe, it will download the appropriate version for you automatically:

npx haxe

Go ahead and install whichever haxe packages you need (maybe externs for react?) Doing so creates entries under haxe_libraries and also downloads the packages. The contents of haxe_libraries do belong under source control. They simply contain metadata about version and where the package is located:

npx lix install haxelib:react

So if you obtained something that already has haxe_libraries but contains libraries you didn’t install yourself already, you’ll need to let lix know to download them:

npx lix download

You can also ensure that this is ran when you run npm install by adding it to package.json:

"scripts": {
    "postinstall": "lix download"

lix’s github page has more information, but with just what you have here, you can easily sneak haxe into any place designed to work with javascript projects. It’s how I got my haxe-based server-side rendering integrated into netlify. Maybe I’ll post about that soon.

Seeing how well lix brings haxe into javascript’s world makes me wish lix could also be built as a python script (it is written in haxe after all, but relies on node externs). If only…