[plt-scheme] alternative web server?

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Wed Aug 23 08:55:33 EDT 2006

Andreas, let me reformulate Jay and Shriram's answer.

PLT is a research group. PLT Scheme is research software. The PLT  
Server is an exploratory framework; our goal is to find new  
mechanisms  that fit somewhere in the chain of Web applications. For  
this reason, our software is solid, much like an ordinary, run-of-the- 
mill development project such as Python, and at the same time  
impoverished in those places that we haven't found worthy of research  
investment time.

Having said that, we are an unusual research group in that we push  
our software far enough to serve in commercial, near-commercial,  
government and freeware projects extremely well. If someone serious  
asks for extensions, we will see what we can do. We don't promise too  
much but when we deliver it's as solid as python or something like it.

As for the web server: the purpose of the server was to explore the  
use of continuations for transitions between/among web pages. Over  
six or seven years of this research, we have come to the conclusion  
that it is imperative to support this mechanism in web services  
frameworks; a server that doesn't just poses too many obstacles and  
creates too many opportunities for _systematic_ failures -- something  
that researchers wish to eliminate. Of course, like everyone else, we  
also realize that currently web services require far too many page  
switches, and that if you don't switch pages, you don't want  
continuations. So now is the time to explore this idea. Stay tuned  
for further pronouncements from Shriram in this arena.

I realize that this is a high level and principled answer, not at all  
addressing the pressing needs of a web hacker. But I thought I should  
clarify what you're looking at before you commit. If you do commit, I  
promise fun.

-- Matthias, researching for fun, also paid for it. 

On Aug 23, 2006, at 8:44 AM, Andreas Zwinkau wrote:

> Thanks for a quick response!
> I've some Python experience, where the web development is somewhat  
> more
> matured and stabilized. They have WSGI [1], a standard interface  
> for web
> application. You can write to that interface and then put
> SimpleHTTPServer (included in std lib), mod_python, *cgi, ... before
> that. This is cool, because you can use a simple, library server  
> during
> development and easily switch to something big later.
> On top of that Paste [2] is coming, which is a framework for web
> frameworks. It handles multiple Apps (think .htaccess RewriteRules)  
> and
> filters (gzip compression, url rewriting).
> This is not necessarily the One True Way, but i think the Python
> community has already worked some things out very well.
> So , next step: looking deeper into the plt server ... :)
> [1] WSGI: http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0333/
> [2] Paste: http://pythonpaste.org/
> -- 
> god bless you
> Andreas
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