Coordination/Invited Speaker

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Hop, a Fast Server for the Diffuse Web

Manuel Serrano, INRIA, France is the invited speaker for the Coordination conference.


The diffuse Web is an alternative way of using the Web 2.0 infrastructure for building personal diffuse applications. Systems that let users tune the temperature of their house with a cell-phone, check that the shutters are closed with a PDA, or select the music to be played on a Hi-Fi system with a PC are examples of the targeted applications. Diffuse Web applications have similarities with Web 2.0 applications: i) they rely on fast bi-directional interactions between servers and clients, and ii) they make extensive use of non-cachable dynamic contents. On the other hand, diffuse applications have also an important difference with respect to traditional Web applications: they generally do not need to deal with a huge number of simultaneous users. That is, diffuse Web applications are built on top of standard technologies but they use it differently. Therefore they demand different optimizations and tunings. Hop ( is a platform designed for building and running diffuse Web applications. Its software development kit contains two compilers, one interpreter, and a bootstrapped Web server. That is, the Hop Web server is implemented in Hop. This paper shows that this implementation strategy allows Hop to dramatically outperform the popular mainstream Web servers for delivering dynamic contents. Contrary to most servers, Hop delivers static and dynamic contents at a comparable pace. The paper details the implementation of the Hop Web server.


Manuel Serrano is a Senior Scientist at Inria Sophia-Antipolis. Involved with Lisp and Scheme since the early 90's he has worked on optimizing compilers for Scheme, and in 1994 he received his PhD. His thesis, titled "Toward a portable and efficient compilation of functional languages," describes a process that initially compiled Scheme to C code (bigloo). Maintaining and developing Bigloo has been an important part of Dr. Serrano's research activities. In 2000, and 2002, two new back-ends have been added to Bigloo: a first one for compiling to the JVM, a second one for compiling to the CLR. While a professor at the University of Nice in southern France, he developed Bee, which attempts to provide a richer development environment for Scheme by taking advantage of the language's advanced features. It also provides a symbolic debugger, a memory debugger, a performance profiler, a memory profiler, indexing facilities, and so on, and has been described in several research papers.

Manuel Serrano joined Inria Sophia Antipolis in 2001. Since 2005, his research focuses on the development of diffuse applications for the Web 2.0, particularly with the creation of a new programming language 'Hop'. Hop is meant for programming applications such as ubiquitous multimedia systems, house automation systems, desktop replacements, etc. Its first version has been released in June 2006. Ever since, new versions have been released approximately every 6 months.

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