Thesis: Client-side Scripting using Meta-programming

I realized that I haven’t yet posted a link to my Bachelor Thesis, which I partially worked on during my visit in Microsoft Research and which I successfully defended last year. The thesis is about a client/server web framework for F# called F# WebTools, which I already mentioned here and its abstract is following:

“Ajax” programming is becoming a de-facto standard for certain types of web applications, but unfortunately developing this kind of application is a difficult task. Developers have to deal with problems like a language impedance mismatch, limited execution runtime in web browser on the client-side and no integration between client and server-side parts that are developed as a two independent applications, but typically form a single and homogenous application. In this work we present the first project that deals with all three mentioned problems but which still integrates with existing web technologies such as ASP.NET on the server and JavaScript on the client. We use the F# language for writing both client and server-side part of the web application, which makes it possible to develop client-side code in a type-safe programming language using a subset of the F# library, and we provide a way to write both server-side and client-side code as a part of single homogeneous type defining the web page logic. The code is executed heterogeneously, part as JavaScript on the client, and part as native code on the server. Finally we use monadic syntax for the separation of client and server-side code, tracking this separation through the F# type system.

The full text is available here: Client side scripting using meta-programming (PDF, 1.31MB)

Published: Monday, 17 March 2008, 10:07 AM
Tags: random thoughts, universe, web, links
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New Version of Phalanger with Silverlight and VS 2008 Support

At the Lang.NET Symposium I presented several new features in Phalanger. I already posted the presentation and samples on the blog (here) and the talk is also available as a video on the Lang.NET web site (here - actually, due to the huge demand the site is down now, but I hope it gets back soon!) Anyway, the most interesting thing is that I've used Phalanger Integration for Visual Studio 2008 during the talk, which wasn't available in any Phalanger release until now.

I have to mention one more thing before talking more about the new release - Phalanger Integration for VS 2008 works with Visual Studio Shell, which means that you can get Visual Studio 2008 with Phalanger Support for free! Yes, that's right. Microsoft offers so called Visual Studio 2008 Shell, which is an "empty" IDE with no integrated languages and you can install Phalanger Integration into this version, which means that you can get very good Phalanger IDE (for Windows) for no cost at all!

If you can't wait to install this new version, you can skip the overview article and go directly to the installation links.

Published: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 1:14 AM
Tags: phalanger, mono
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F# Support for ASP.NET and Notes on Samples

As I mentioned earlier, I spent three months as an intern in Microsoft Research in Cambridge last year and I was working with Don Syme and James Margetson from the F# team. Most of the time I was working on the F# Web Toolkit, which I introduced on the blog some time ago [1], but I also worked on a few additions that are now part of the F# release. Probably the most useful addition is a new implementation of the CodeDOM provider for the F# language which makes it possible to use ASP.NET smoothly from F# (but it can be used in some other scenarios as well) together with two ASP.NET sample applications that you can explore and use as a basis for your web sites. This was actually a part of the distribution for a few months now (I of course wanted to write this article much earlier...), so you may have already noticed, but anyway, I'd still like to write down a short description of these ASP.NET samples and also a few tips for those who're interested in writing web applications in F#.

Published: Saturday, 8 March 2008, 11:07 PM
Tags: web, f#
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