[plt-scheme] alternative web server?

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Wed Aug 23 20:32:18 EDT 2006

> My statement about stability and maturity was based solely on the fact
> that only two sites (Continue and Untyped) use PLT.

Last year my department's entire hiring process was done using an
application called Resume (Continue, Resume/Resum'e -- ha ha) built
atop the PLT Web server.  Not only are there various confidentiality
issues involved -- some of them directly related to federal law -- but
this also becomes the primary interface of the department to our peers
at other universities, both those applying and those submitting
recommendation letters.  It is therefore a very important application
to get right for various complex meanings of the word "right".

In fact the year before a much larger team (unrelated to anyone in
PLT), with much more time, had built a much more "sophisticated"
application in Java.  So the PLT application had direct competition to
live up to.

Last year itself, after some growing pains, people were happy with our
application.  In fact, in the middle of our search another faculty
search at Brown asked if they could use our software for their search
also.  And when we gave people the choice this year, all the people we
asked preferred the PLT application (some in quite strong words) over
the previous one.  These are people without any vested interest in any
language -- they just want what works better.


Kathi Fisler, a professor at WPI (a university in Massachusetts),
directed a student, Andrey Skylar, to build an application for
handling assignment turnin.  This sounds like a simple problem, but
the existing commercial class-management applications are awful at
this when assignments are done in groups, and everything at that
university is group-based.  Andrey and Kathi built Turnin, which was
used by their department very successfully.  They've asked for it back
again this year.


My understanding is that the Topsl survey software is built entirely
on top of the PLT Scheme Web server.  Topsl has solved real problems
of value to people who need to create surveys.  Maybe one of the Topsl
people can jump in with a comment.


I know Jay runs various personal things on the PLT Web server.  I
don't know whether this is public, etc., so I won't comment further.


Generally, I don't know when I'm using a site that is hosted on Apache
or on Tomcat or on WebSphere or anything else.  I'm generally glad
when people don't know they're using the PLT Web server.  It means the
server is doing what it's supposed to do, which is to obey standards
and get the heck out of the way.


Posted on the users mailing list.