“I gave up trying to figure out how to use continuations for web programming.”
Racket looks amazing. You want to do web development in it. But the official discussions steer quickly into continuations. Which are foreign and hard to understand. They complicate the discussion. You’re willing to learn some new things to get into Racket, but come on. Continuations are weird.
Even if you do see the point of continuations, you’re not clear on how useful they’d be for web programming.
You’ve given up trying to make sense of them. You gave it your best, but you just don’t get it.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Continuations seem to require a new mindset. But how to acquire it? The tutorials don’t give you that. You’ve never seen anything like that before. The docs don’t explain how to think about this stuff.
You’ve pretty much abandoned the idea of continuations for web devel. You’re about to chuck out Racket as something that would have been cool. Paul Graham said that Lisp was his secret weapon for web devel, but if this is what he’s talking about, well, that’s just nuts.
Get into the continuation state of mind
What if you could determine your application state automatically? Request comes in and you know just where you are in that big state machine of yours.
Whereas most web developers bring knives (or maybe just spoons, toothpicks, and a dollop of good intentions) to the HTTP application state management brawl, you don’t need any weapons at all. Like Neo in The Matrix, you see continuations everywhere. There’s no need to suss things out using cookies, ad hoc query parameters, and multiple databases. You skip that fight entirely and proceed directly to GO.
You send/suspend/dispatch with elan.
REST and that elusive HATEOAS come for free. Not only can you see the past, continuations let you kinda-sorta see into the future, too.
Even if you don’t end up using continuations in your web work, they’ll change the way you look at the web and think about HTTP.
A Short Introduction to Web Programming with Continuations in Racket is a guide to using continuations for the web with the Racket HTTP server and its language for stateless HTTP server programming.
You’ll understand what continuations are all about and how they make REST and allied concepts like HATEOAS automatic.
Here’s what you’ll pick up and master:
- Make sense of continuations and understand how they offer a powerful insight into web programming
- How to program in #lang web-server, the stateless web server language
- Mix and match continuations with traditional URL-based request dispatching
- Understand and handle security concerns
A Short Introduction to Web Programming with Continuations in Racket comes in three variations depending on how deep you wish to go:
The PDF ebook containing the core material that gets you in the continuation state of mind, ready to rock.
The Couch Edition plus an exercise book (also PDF). Ideal for testing yourself as you proceed.
The Library Edition plus worked out, video solutions to all the exercises. Good if you like to follow along with me as we go through the course.
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