Ajax applications are ‘stand-alone’ Web applications that execute into the browser environment, communicating with one or more server back-ends only to get raw data.
Ajax applications can be written using either:
Hajax is a proposal to create a Haskell-based tool to program Ajax applications.
The main advantages of Hajax would be:
- Web development using a very-high level language with extensive compile-time checks
- No plugins (e.g. a Java VM) required on the user browser
- No Haskell server back-end required (Hajax applications would communicate with back-ends written in any language).
Likely disadvantages with respect to native Ajax solutions are:
- An additional compilation step
- Lower performance
Hajax would consist of the following modules:
- A Haskell compiler able to generate, directly or indirectly, native browser code.
- Generic Haskell libraries (a port of the existing standard Haskell Libraries)
- User interface framework and libraries.
- (Optionally) A development environment.
- Support for Haskell 98 + most popular extensions.
- Fast compilation.
- Compact and efficient compiled code.
Compiler Design alternatives
Possible targets for the compiler are:
- The OpenLaszlo kernel (currently under development) that can be executed in either Flash or HTML/Web browsers.
Generic Haskell Libraries
Libraries that would be useful include:
- Generic functional and mutable data structures
- Parser/Regex libraries
UI Framework and Libraries
The libraries would include:
- A complete set of UI widgets
- Network libraries for browser-to-server communication
It should be relatively easy to adapt existing Haskell development environments like EclipseFP to work with Hajax.