[Haskell-cafe] State of the Haskell Web Application Stack

Michael Snoyman michael at snoyman.com
Wed Mar 24 17:37:38 EDT 2010

Hi Ozgun,

At the moment, I would say that Happstack is your best bet on a mature
option for Haskell web development. There are other systems being developed,
but none have been battle-tested as much as Happstack (as far as I know). I
know that patch-tag[1] was written with it, for example.

That said, there's a lot of effort right now in expanding the web
development landscape for Haskell. I suggest you subscribe to the web-devel
mailing list and follow the discussions there. Jeremy Shaw, for example, is
currently working on a package called URLT, which promises type-safe URLs.
(I know the PHP project I'm consulting on right now could *really* use this

Things are exciting right now, and you can probably have a lot of input on
the direction of development. Also, if you want a more experimental
framework, I'll recommend you check out Yesod[2] (which I am writing).


[1] http://patch-tag.com/
[2] http://www.yesodweb.com/code.html

On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 7:05 PM, Ozgun Ataman <ozataman at gmail.com> wrote:

> Greetings all.
> I have been for quite some time trying to assess the feasibility of using
> Haskell in relatively large, high volume, high availability, long-running
> web application projects. I have enjoyed learning and using Haskell very
> much for the past year and I often find myself missing various language
> features when reasoning about alternatives like Ruby (on Rails). If I can
> identify the right set of tools for the job, I would really like to take the
> plunge and make Haskell my standard go-to language in web applications.
> Here are the couple of key questions that I wanted get your feedback on:
>    1. Do you consider Haskell and its environment of libraries ready for
>    prime time in web app development as defined above?
>    2. What collection of libraries would you use in such an effort?
>    3. What are the up and coming packages/technologies in Haskell-land you
>    would watch out for?
> Also, here are some core requirements that I would define for such a
> project:
>    - Ease/speed of development in both back and front-ends, minimal
>    boilerplate
>    - Extendability and flexibility in iterative development
>    - Robustness and reliability in production environment
>    - High performance
>    - Scalability
>    - Ability to interface with new technologies in the future: Cassandra,
>    Redis, memcached, etc.
>    - Ease of implementing common/reusable features across web
>    applications: user authentication, S3 file uploads, thumbnail/image
>    handling, exception notifications, etc.
> In terms of libraries, I can think of a few key components (as pointed out
> by several others before) that one would need to arrange:
>    - Choice of server (happstack vs. alternatives)
>    - Templating (xhtml vs. file templates vs. newer efforts like
>    BlazeHtml)
>    - Data/storage layer: HDBC vs. HaskellDB vs. others
> I know this is a common topic in Haskell-Cafe, but I have failed to
> identify conclusive opinions from experienced Haskellers out there in
> previous discussions. My apologies in advance if this is a blatantly
> redundant post.
> All the best,
> Ozgun
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