[plt-scheme] Continuations

From: Noel Welsh (noelwelsh at yahoo.com)
Date: Sat Nov 18 08:53:24 EST 2006

--- Akhilesh Mritunjai <mritun.lists at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 18/11/06, Noel Welsh <noelwelsh at yahoo.com> wrote:
> >  - Most of our sites are stateless, so don't use
> > continuations for these parts.  We dispatch on URL.

I meant pages, not sites, here.

> Well, but as far as I see, the real strength of
> continuations based
> frameworks lie in not actually being concerned about
> lower level details. ... So I think the framework failed
> at point when you had to implement the "pipeline". 

A couple of points:

The easy point is that continuation based frameworks
introduce a bunch of trade offs, and it is our job as the
software developers to choose the right trade off for the
situation.  Specifically, with continuations you gain ease
of development but lose bookmarkability, and use more
server resources.  For pages that reference ephemeral data,
such as form validation pages, I believe continuations are
the right approach.  For pages that reference relatively
permanent data, I would choose another technique by

The second and, I believe, more important important point
is that all these problems can be solved given time and
resources but you have to be careful of
cart-before-horseism.  We could spend unbounded time
developing the world's greatest web framework, and when we
finished realise the world has moved on to something else. 
Better to build something that works now.  If it is
successful we'll acquire the resources to develop it
further, faster.  The trick is to balance the messy demands
and limited resources of now against the ultimate goal of
simplicity and purity.  If we're aware of the goal we can
make decisions that don't prevent us from someday getting
there.  Which is a long winded way of saying I agree with
all the points you raise, but don't think developing the
ideal framework first is the best way to proceed.


Email: noelwelsh <at> yahoo <dot> com   noel <at> untyped <dot> com
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