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Section: Research Program

Web, functional, and reactive programming

We are studying new paradigms for programming Web applications that rely on multi-tier functional programming. We have created a Web programming environment named Hop. It relies on a single formalism for programming the server-side and the client-side of the applications as well as for configuring the execution engine.

Hop is a functional language based on the Scheme programming language. That is, it is a strict functional language, fully polymorphic, supporting side effects, and dynamically type-checked. Hop is implemented as an extension of the Bigloo compiler that we develop. In the past, we have extensively studied static analyses (type systems and inference, abstract interpretations, as well as classical compiler optimizations) to improve the efficiency of compilation in both space and time.

As a Hop DSL, we have created HipHop, a synchronous orchestration language for web and IoT applications. HipHop facilitates the design and programming of complex web/IoT applications by smoothly integrating three computation models and programming styles that have been historically developed in different communities and for different purposes: i) Transformational programs that simply compute output values from input values, with comparatively simple interaction with their environment; ii) asynchronous concurrent programs that perform interactions between their components or with their environment with uncontrollable timing, using typically network-based communication; and iii) synchronous reactive programs that react to external events in a conceptually instantaneous and deterministic way.