There’s so much activity at the moment around web development using niche and previously esoteric languages that the recondite is fast becoming the norm: recherché, my dear, is the new commonplace. One can’t help but wonder in some cases how far the developer of a given zoom–to–web framework has set out with some clear design goals in mind, carefully considered specific features of various languages in the context of those goals and eventually settled on one; conversely how far languages which natively support continuations, functional or concatenative programming are simply too cool not to have three–step web app frameworks, or indeed whether the implementation of such a framework has become a rite of passage for a langue débutante. For such considerations to stray into the realms of whether particular languages are selected purely on the basis of how arcane their syntax may be would be nothing less than cynicism, which is obviously untoward in technical discussion.
Nonetheless niche is sometimes nice, focus is frequently fantastic, and it goes (almost) without saying that a tightly–focussed development effort by some extremely smart people can, and often will, bear fine fruits. Recent ponderings in the Clark–brain have concerned The Right Way To Get The Job Done, and whether a “right” way might actually exist — more to follow on that topic, but for me, it’s all about that same ol’ focus, tools for tasks, and the Unix Way — so to that end, please find herewith a beauty parade of some of the linguistic and mechanical delicacies currently whetting my appetite, and lined up for perusal at some point in the not–too–distant.
Factor Stack–based programming definitely is cool.
Merb MVC framework Looks to do what it says on the tin, neatly, without any fuss, and hopefully without eating gigabytes of RAM for entrées.
Finally, while we’re talking continuations in web frameworks (though post-AJAX Seaside seems to be sidelining them somewhat): even if the mere thought of a “full–stack web application framework with tools and APIs to implement most common web features” is enough to make my knees itch, using continuations but still maintaining control over HTTP nuts and bolts has a cool factor of at the very least Xe+28, and the recent burst of POJO–speak has re–lit my hitherto Bean–sickened and J2EE–weakened Java fire — all of which factors combine to suggest that RIFE is likely to get a look in.