Research Highlight: Ur/Web: A Simple Model for Programming the Web

Adam Chlipala. Research Highlight: Ur/Web: A Simple Model for Programming the Web. Communications of the ACM (CACM). 59(8). 93-100, 2016. Association for Computing Machinery.

Publisher's version

The World Wide Web has evolved gradually from a document delivery platform to an architecture for distributed programming. This largely unplanned evolution is apparent in the set of interconnected languages and protocols that any Web application must manage. This paper presents Ur/Web, a domain-specific, statically typed functional programming language with a much simpler model for programming modern Web applications. Ur/Web's model is unified, where programs in a single programming language are compiled to other "Web standards" languages as needed; supports novel kinds of encapsulation of Web-specific state; and exposes simple concurrency, where programmers can reason about distributed, multithreaded applications via a mix of transactions and cooperative preemption. We give a tutorial introduction to the main features of Ur/Web.

Project web site

[Condensed version of POPL'15 paper, also including some tweaks to be accessible to a broader audience]