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2 Aug 2007

by Noel

A Scheme Case Study

If you’ve looked at the ICFP 2007 preliminary program you’ll have noticed we’re presenting “Experience Report: Scheme in Commercial Web Application Development”. We submitted the final version of the paper a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve finally got around to putting itonline for your reading pleasure. The contents shouldn’t come as a surprise: a summary of our experiences developing commercial web applications in PLT Scheme over the last year. We’ve tried to be honest, including the good and bad. Hopefully the points you’ll take away are that we’ve been able to overcome initial problems with stability, and in a fairly short time we’ve developed a framework that compares well to popular alternatives such as Ruby on Rails.

The four page limit on experience reports is very tight, and unfortunately our experiences with Flapjax were cut from the final version. So let me say here that if you write Javascript code you need to check out Flapjax! Our Flapjax code is about half the size of the equivalent Javascript, and this is without using the Flapjax compiler. The only problem with Flapjax is performance in large networks. This is more a property of the poor quality of Javascript interpreters: Wolfenstein 3D on my 286 back in 1990-something was smoother than Javascript raycaster running today on my Powerbook. Luckily the new developments taking place at Mozilla will alleviate this problem in the next few years.

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