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Racket in Production: Building Twelve-Factor Racket Web Apps

You're a Racket web programmer. You want to up your game and finally get that site of yours — that idea that's been kicking around in your find since, well, forever — online and in production. You realize that making a serious web site goes way beyond a couple of tutorials, no matter how good they may be at what they cover. To get your idea really out there, you need to put a lot of pieces together. Some of it's Racket, of course, but not everything. 

Where do you look for advice?

The Twelve-Factor App is a collection of useful principles for structuring your web apps. (No idea what that means? If you're a serious web developer, or want to be one, take a look. Pour yourself an adult beverage and enjoy what you see there. Then come back here.)

The Twelve-Factor App is about going pro. No more corner-cutting cowboy coding. You want to make a SaaS, API, or serious blog? You need to grow up.

We've all been there:

  • Throwaway demo sites.
  • Spaghetti code.
  • Spaghetti thinking.
  • Hardcoded DB passwords or other credentials.
  • No automation.
  • No staging environment.
  • Useless logs (if there even are logs).
  • Live testing ("Not sure how to test this. Let's just deploy it and find out.")
  • Sites that go offline for the dumbest of reasons
  • ...and you have no idea that it's down.

When you want to take your web app into production — when you stop playing around and open up your blog, API, or SaaS to the whole Internet — there are some principles to keep in mind. And the ones discussed by the Twelve Factor team are a really good start.

Sure, we can quibble all day long about this or that principle. But admit it: you're just stalling. Clearly, the intentions behind the Twelve-Factor App are good, and the whole thing is offered in good faith. It doesn't matter if it's perfect, or if it's missing this or that important principle. It's a great start.

So let's start there, and see what this is like, In Racket.

And after that? Let's put it in production. Are you in?


Racket in Production: Building Twelve-Factor Racket Web Apps

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