Experience Report: Ocsigen, a Web Programming Framework

Vincent Balat, Jérôme Vouillon and Boris Yakobowski

The 14th ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Functional Programming (ICFP 2009)
Edinburgh, Scotland, 31st August - 2nd September 2009


The evolution of Web sites towards very dynamic applications makes it necessary to reconsider current Web programming technologies. We believe that Web development would benefit greatly from more abstract paradigms and that a more semantical approach would result in huge gains in expressiveness. In particular, functional programming provides a really elegant solution to some important Web interaction problems, but few frameworks take advantage of it.

We present our experience in designing Ocsigen, a general framework for Web programming in Objective Caml. The Ocsigen project is trying to find global solutions to these needs. It provides a full featured Web server and a framework for programming Web applications, with the aim of improving expressiveness and safety. This is done by taking advantage of functional programming and static typing as much as possible.

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