Links helps to build modern Ajax-style applications: those with
significant client- and server-side components.
A typical, modern web program involves many "tiers": part of the
program runs in the web browser, part runs on a web server, and part
runs in specialized systems such as a relational database. To create
such a program, the programmer must master a myriad of languages: the
logic is written in a mixture of Java, Python, and Perl; the
are written in SQL or XQuery. There is no easy way to link these: to
be sure, for example, that an HTML form or an SQL query produces the
type of data that the Java code expects. This is called the impedance
Links eases the impedance mismatch problem by providing a single
language for all three tiers. The system is responsible for
translating the code into suitable languages for each tier: for
into Java for the server, and some into SQL to use the database.
Links incorporates ideas proven in other programming languages:
database-query support from Kleisli, web-interaction proposals from
PLT Scheme, and distributed-computing support from Erlang. On top of
this, it adds some new web-centric features of its own.
Allows web programs to be written in a single programming language
Call-by-value functional language
Server / Client annotations
Scalability through defunctionalised server continuations.
Statically typed database access a la Kleisli
Concurrent processes on the client and the server
Statically typed Erlang-esque message passing
Polymorphic records and variants
An effect system for supporting abstraction over database queries
whilst guaranteeing that they can be efficiently compiled to SQL
Handlers for algebraic effects on the server-side and the client-side