[Lispweb] Mod_lisp 2.0 released

Andrew K. Wolven awolven at redfernlane.org
Sun Jun 17 19:51:31 CDT 2001


Marc Battyani wrote:

> I just released mod_lisp 2.0 here :
> http://www.fractalconcept.com/asp/mod_lisp
> mod_lisp is an Apache module to easily write web applications in Lisp.
>
> It has been completely re-written and now it reuses the Apache <-> Lisp
> sockets, boosting performance by a factor of up to 80.
>
> mod_lisp talk from Apache to lisp processes by sockets with a very
> straightforward protocol to handle a request. It now reuses the Apache to
> Lisp sockets for improved performance. Future versions will probably be more
> Lisp specific, but for now it can be used by any other language.
>
> Why mod_lisp?
>
> -The Lisp servers are application servers. I don't want to bother the Lisp
> applications with things like serving gif or jpeg files or even static pages
> in some cases. Using mod_lisp I can separate the HTTP servers from the
> application servers.
> The architecture I am promoting is like this: One or more Apache front ends
> to serve static content (like images), one or more Lisp application servers
> to process the application logic and databases servers to store the data.
>
> -Time is the scarcest resource so I don't want to waste it to implement
> things like SSL (though an SSL implementation in Lisp is useful for other
> purposes), keeping up to date with HTTP protocols etc. The Apache people do
> this with a sufficient quality, I don't see any interest to do it myself.
>
> -I can benefit from the Apache modules if I need them (mod_gzip for
> instance)
>
> -The market acceptance is quite better. It's really easier to sell an Apache
> + FreeBSD + (Postgresql or Oracle) + Lisp solution than a Lisp + FreeBSD +
> (Postgresql or Oracle) solution. In the first case Lisp is perceived as yet
> another web language like Perl, Python and others. In the second case you
> have to advocate the use of Lisp.
>
> -mod_lisp is released under a FreeBSD style license.
>
> -It's easier to work on a project where the Lisp web application is only a
> part of a web site.
>
> It's in a beta stage. So please report the bugs you can find to me so that I
> can include them. (you can also report to me the English mistakes I have
> made in the mod_lisp pages...)
>
> Marc
>
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Dear Marc,
I really appreciate your work on mod_lisp in that it helps give unix
jockeys one
less excuse for not using the highest quality standards in software
engineering,
namely ANSI Common Lisp and relatives.  However, I think that the design
reasons
that you have described above are full of hot air and that's why you
have to add
steel cables to keep your balloon from floating off.  You are adding an
extra
layer of sockets and the protocol to go with it which only forces a lisp
hacker
to have to waste time learning/administrating Apache/mod_lisp in
addition to
programming/administrating a lisp [application] server.  (and will
probably make
the response time of your http request go up by 20% or so on average)  I
happen
to believe strongly, as well as have evidence based on government work
experience, that people that stack engineering on top of buzzwords are
doomed.
If you must offload your static data to an Apache server for
performance/admin/political or other reasons, you don't need a backdoor
connection to the server since the browser can connect to the static
content
server directly.  Simply have your lisp [application] server emit the
correct
url to the static content.  I seem to remember this debate from a while
back and
it seemed fresh and dandy then, but now that I have had time to mull
over it and
run some live sites, I have to say 'wait a minute'.

AKW



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