a place I put stuff

The Transparent Web

What can the web learn from functional programming?

I’ve been writing a book! The Transparent Web is my attempt to explore the convergence of functional and web programming. Functional programming has been with us for over 50 years and the web for about half that. Clearly, these technologies have coexisted long enough for some cultural diffusion to have happened. Yet it seemed to me that the main thrust of web development grew out of the OO tradition. This has taken us really far. Rails, and frameworks like it, have enabled zillions of great web applications. But as web applications become ever more dizzyingly complex, we have to begin to wonder. Are there tools, techniques, and ideas from functional programming just waiting to be adopted? If so, what are they? And how could they be used?

This book looks for those answers. In it, I explore several frameworks to see how they approach the problem of web development. To support these forays, I cover key concepts used throughout functional programs.

These frameworks, and the concepts behind them are becoming more popular and widespread. Languages like Rust (Mozilla), Swift (Apple), and F# (Microsoft) suggest that big organizations are betting on functional programming.

If you are a web developer and are curious about what all this functional noise is about, then you should check this book out!


Among other topics, I’ll cover:


Please see talks for a list of all the talks I’ve given.

The Book

Update 6/2016: The Transparent Web is now available as a MEAP (early access book) from Manning Publications!