[Haskell-cafe] Haskell Web Framework Happstack 6 Released

Thomas Hartman tphyahoo at gmail.com
Fri Feb 18 01:37:42 CET 2011

I don't know who said it first, but I'm repeating it.

2011 is going to be the tipping point year for haskell web frameworks.

Thanks Jeremy!

2011/2/17 Jeremy Shaw <jeremy at n-heptane.com>:
> Hello,
> I am pleased to announce the release of Happstack 6. We fully recommend that
> all Happstack users migrate to the new release.
> Happstack is a high-performance Haskell web framework. It has high-level
> functionality for routing requests, extracting parameters, manipulating
> responses, serving static file contents, compression responses, and more. It
> includes an integrated HTTP server and a native RAM-cloud database system
> known as MACID. This allows you to deploy your web application with out
> having to configure apache, php, mysql, memcached, etc!
> Install instructions can be found here:
> http://happstack.com/download
> If you are porting existing applications you should check out the Happstack
> 6 migration guide:
> http://code.google.com/p/happstack/wiki/Happstack6Migration
> Porting should be pretty straight-forward. Despite the massive
> reorganization, the exports from Happstack.Server are largely the same.
> What's Exciting!
> ----------------
> The focus of this release has been happstack-server. The primary goal
> was to make happstack-server much easier to learn and to use.
> This includes:
>  1. improving the overall organization of the library
>  2. greatly improving the documentation
>  3. making it easier to install
>  4. ensuring that the server provides fast, reliable performance
>  5. making it easier for new (and old) developers to understand and get
> started
> If you have looked at Happstack before and found it too difficult to
> understand, I highly recommend you take another look. The new organization
> and documentation make it far easier to understand.
> More Logical Organiation
> ------------------------
> In prior versions, the Happstack.Server.SimpleHTTP module contained just
> about everything, with little organization, and no real differentiation
> between the external API and the library internals. In Happstack 6,
> SimpleHTTP has been refactored into numerous, smaller modules. The internals
> have been moved into Happstack.Server.Internal.* so that they are not
> leaking into the external API. This should make it much easier to find what
> you are looking for, and prevent you from accidently running across internal
> things like the WebT monad, which you do not really need to know anything
> about.
> Better Documentation
> --------------------
> The API documentation for happstack-server is also much better. All external
> API functions should now have good haddock documentation with many inline
> examples.
> However, learning a new library by studying the API documentation can still
> be pretty frustrating. So we also have the brand new Happstack Crash Course.
> http://happstack.com/docs/crashcourse/index.html.
> The Happstack Crash Course covers a vast majority of the happstack-server
> API. It covers the API in a logical manner and includes many downloadable,
> runnable examples. It is intended to be read start to finish, and to also be
> usable as a reference guide for specific "How do I do XXX" questions.
> Additionally, the guestbook example has been updated to a cleaner, more
> modern style of Happstack coding. It also has more comments/haddock
> documentation.
> Better API
> ----------
> During the process of documenting Happstack, many small improvements where
> made to the API. Once you try to document something stupid you realize how
> stupid it is and decided it would be good to fix it first ;)
> For example, the Cookie API now makes it more obvious how to create session
> cookies vs persistent cookies. And makes it obvious how to expire a cookie.
> The functions for looking up values in the query string and require body no
> longer require the use of the RqData monad. You can use the look* functions
> directly in the ServerPart monad.
> If you do choose to use RqData, it now has an Applicative instance which can
> accummulate and report lookup errors.
> (http://happstack.blogspot.com/2010/10/is-rqdata-monad-still-needed.html)
> There are a bunch of other improvements to request data handling documented
> here, http://happstack.com/docs/crashcourse/RqData.html.
> Easier Install
> --------------
> In order to make Happstack easier to install we have removed as many
> dependencies as possible. happstack-data no longer depends on
> happstack-util, which makes it easier to install happstack-data or
> happstack-state with out the rest of the framework. HSP and HStringTemplate
> support has been moved into *optional* happstack-hsp and
> happstack-hstringtemplate packages.
> New Features
> ------------
> Happstack also has a number of new features including:
>  - support for Heist templates
>  (http://happstack.com/docs/crashcourse/Templates.html#helloheist)
>  - support for Hamlet templates
>  - improved environment for extracting query string and form values
> (http://happstack.blogspot.com/2010/10/is-rqdata-monad-still-needed.html)
>  - support for recompilation and reloading of templates in a running server
> (http://happstack.blogspot.com/2010/10/recompile-your-haskell-based-templates.html)
>  - directory browsing when using serveDirectory
> And numerous other improvements including enhancements to IxSet, file
> locking, and much more.
> Bigger, Better Version Number
> -----------------------------
> We have also upgraded our version numbers! We have decided to call this
> release Happstack 6.0 instead of Happstack 0.6. There are two reasons for
> this:
>  1. the amount of changes we are making really do represent a new major
> release
>  2. it will make it easier to comply with the Haskell package version
> policy.
> Now that Happstack 6 is out, we plan to make more frequent releases. The new
> version scheme will allow us to talk about the next major release (Happstack
> 7), but still put out changes to Happstack 6 which change the API (aka,
> Happstack 6.2, etc).
> GHC 7 - mostly
> --------------
> Happstack mostly works with GHC 7. Due to some compiler bugs, HSP does not
> work with GHC 7.0.1. These bugs were reported and are fixed in the upcoming
> GHC 7.0.2 release. If you are not using the optional happstack-hsp package,
> then GHC 7 is fine. If you are using happstack-hsp, then you will need to
> use GHC 6.12, a recent version of GHC from darcs, or wait until GHC 7.0.2
> comes out.
> The Future
> ==========
> The current future plan looks like this:
> Happstack 7
> -----------
> The next major release of Happstack will be Happstack 7. The primary focus
> of Happstack 7 will be improving happstack-state (also known as MACID). Big
> features include:
>  - sharding support
>  - a rewrite of IxSet based on kdtrees with much better RAM and CPU
> performance
>  - performance testing to show how awesome MACID is
>  - much better documentation and examples
>  - better tools for examining and modifying state in running applications
> There are also a bunch of lower-level API improvements planned which should
> make it nicer to use happstack-state.
> Happstack 8
> -----------
> Happstack 8 will finally feature an enumerator-based HTTP backend. This is a
> feature we have been hoping to add since January of 2009.
> http://code.google.com/p/happstack/issues/detail?id=29
> Rather than develop a competing HTTP backend, Happstack will put its efforts
> into improving an existing HTTP backend. We currently have our eye on
> WAI/warp. However, we will also consider snap and hyena when the time comes.
> It should be noted that the current lazy I/O based backend is not the
> relentless nightmare of space leaks that some people might lead you to
> believe it is. The current happstack-server can easily handle uploads and
> downloads of large or streaming files with out leaks. But, enumerators *are*
> nice.
> How You can Help
> ================
> You are encouraged to get involved in Happstack. The easiest way to get
> involved is to complain about how horrible Happstack is. If you don't voice
> your complaints, then we might not know something things to be fixed.
> If you are looking to make code contributions, please feel free to ask on
> #happs or the mailing list. There are tasks that are easy for novices, tasks
> that are worthy of a Ph.D, and everything in between. If you want to work,
> we can certainly find a way to use your talents!
> There are also plenty of non-coding related tasks including documentation,
> graphic design, user surveys, etc.
> You are also encouraged to blog about your Happstack projects!
> Thanks!
> - jeremy shaw
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