[Lispweb] BRL 2.1.14: HTTP cookies, easier installation, bigger manual
brlewis at alum.mit.edu
Wed Aug 30 10:38:16 CDT 2000
This will be the last BRL announcement sent to the kawa and lispweb
mailing lists. There is now a brl-announce list. See
BRL 2.1.14 released 2000-08-30
The brl-cookie-set! procedure has been added and documented. Existing
cookie-related procedures have been documented in a new "BRL
Reference" chapter of the manual, along with many other previously
It is no longer necessary to set the scmdir Servlet parameter if the
default installation directory is used.
BRL is a language designed for server-side WWW-based applications,
particularly database applications. Its facility for generating output
from databases makes it a report language. It hides powerful semantics
behind a simple syntax, resulting in code that is easy to write, read
and maintain. This makes it a beautiful language. Thus its name, BRL,
the Beautiful Report Language.
BRL programs are very much like web pages. One simply puts a BRL file
on a HTTP server and calls up the appropriate URL In a web browser.
The first time the page is loaded it is compiled, and the same
compiled program is used for subsequent page loads until the
underlying BRL file is modified.
There are other systems besides BRL that work in a similar manner, but
they usually require learning a programming language that is unique to
that system (e.g. PHP, CFML), or a language that is more cumbersome
than necessary (e.g. Java/JSP) for the simple programming usually
demanded in HTML pages. BRL uses Scheme, a language taught in hundreds
of universities, colleges and secondary schools worldwide.
Scheme uses an extremely uncomplicated syntax that makes simple code
look simple. It is popular for teaching Computer Science (CS) because
instructors can spend a short time teaching the language itself,
leaving more time to teach CS principles. This has given Scheme a
reputation for being a difficult language because it is usually
associated with advanced concepts. However, those advanced concepts
are not necessary for writing applications using BRL.
BRL is suitable not just for HTML, but for any markup language. A
combination of BRL and pdflatex can be used to dynamically generate
BRL uses a database-neutral SQL interface, borrowed from Java's JDBC.
The current implementation of BRL is a Java Servlet, allowing
integration with all the most popular HTTP servers. All major
operating system / database / HTTP server combinations are suitable
for running BRL.
Bruce R. Lewis http://brl.sourceforge.net/
More information about the lispweb