Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Type-Safe Web Programming in QWeS2T

Thierry Sans*, Iliano Cervesato*

June 2010


Also appears as Qatar Technical Report

Keywords: Web programming, mobile code, remote code, type safety

Web applications (webapps) are very popular because they are easy to prototype and they can invoke other external webapps, supplied by third parties, as building blocks. Yet, writing correct webapps is complex because developers are required to reason about distributed computation and to write code using heterogeneous languages, often not originally designed with distributed computing in mind. Testing is the common way to catch bugs as current technologies provide limited support. There are doubts this can scale up to meet the expectations of more sophisticated web applications. In this paper, we propose an abstraction that provides simple primitives to manage the two main forms of distributed computation found on the web: remote procedure calls (code executed on a server on behalf of a client) and mobile code (server code executed on a client). We embody this abstraction in a type-safe language with localized static typechecking that we call QWeS2T and for which we have implemented a working prototype. We use it to express interaction patterns commonly found on the Web as well as more sophisticated forms that are beyond current web technologies.

59 pages

*Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar Campus

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