Tag Archive | web

Boost.Http and Beast.HTTP joining forces

The newest update to the Boost.Http is that I had a long meeting with Vinnie Falco about a possible collaboration and a few changes are going to happen.

The official announcement was sent to the Boost mailing list and is available in the gmane archives.

What this means:

  • A lot of work making changes so projects can hopefully be merged in the future.
  • API will break again.
  • The thing I wasn’t caring about, “HTTP/1.1 oriented interface”, will be provided on a higher-level than simply an HTTP parser. This is what Beast.HTTP already provides.
  • Beast.HTTP already provides WebSocket support and HTTP client support.
  • We’ll be using a new mailing list to coordinate further development and I invite you to join the mailing list if you’re interested in the future of any of these libraries or HTTP APIs in general.

Boost.Http parser project

I’ll develop a HTTP pull parser for Boost.Http during this summer.

The story starts with Boost not being selected for Google Summer of Code this year. I wanted more funding to spend time on Boost.Http and this was unfortunate.

However, funding from other sources was announced for three projects and Boost.Http was one of the selected projects.

I’d rather work on the request router, but I don’t have a strong design for a request router right now because I’m still experimenting. A weak design would translate on a weak proposal and I decided to propose a HTTP parser.


An interesting HTTP library that carries some similarities with Boost.Http was announced on the Boost mailing list: Beast.

Uisleandro is working on a request router focused on ReST services for Boost.Http: https://github.com/BoostGSoC14/boost.http/compare/master…uisleandro:router1?expand=1.

Boost.Http rejected

Previously I informed that my library was about to be reviewed by the Boost community. And some time ago, this review happened and a result was published.

The outcome of the Boost review process was that my library should not be included in Boost. I think I reacted to the review very well and that I defended the library design with good arguments.

There was valuable feedback that I gained through the review process. Feedback that I can use to improve the library. And improvements to the library shouldn’t stop once the library is accepted into Boost, so I was expecting to spend more time in the library even after the review, as suggested by the presence of a roadmap chapter on the library documentation.

The biggest complaint about the library now was completeness. The library “hasn’t proven” that the API is right. The lack of higher-level building blocks was important to contribute to the lack of trust in current API. Also, if such library was to enter in Boost, it should be complete, so new users would have a satisfying first impression and continue to use the library after the initial contact. I was worried about delivering a megazord library to be reviewed in just one review, but that’s what will happen next time I submit the library to review. At least I introduced several concepts to the readers already.

Things that I planned were forgotten when I created the documentation and I’ll have to improve documentation once again to ensure guarantees that I had planned already. Also, some neat ideas were given to improve library design and further documentation updates will be required. Documentation was also lacking in the area of tutorial. Truth be told, I’m not very skilled in writing tutorials. Hopefully, the higher-level API will help me to introduce the library to newbies. Also, I can include several tutorials in the library to improve its status.

There was an idea about parser/generator (like 3-level instead 2-level indirection) idea that will require me to think even more about the design. Even now, I haven’t thought enough about this design yet. One thing for sure is that I’ll have to expose an HTTP parser because that’s the only thing that matters for some users.

A few other minor complaints were raised that can be addressed easily.

If you are willing to discuss more about the library, I have recently created a gitter channel where discussions can happen.

And for now, I need to re-read all messages given for the review and register associated issues in the project’s issue tracker. I’d like to have something ready by January, but it’ll probably take 6 months to 1 year before I submit the library again. Also, the HTTP client library is something that will possibly delay the library a lot, as I’ll research power users like Firefox and Chromium to make sure that the library is feature-ready for everybody.

So much work that maybe I’ll submit the library as a project on GSoC again next year to gather some more funding.

Also, I’d like to use this space to spread two efforts that I intend to make once the library is accepted into Boost:

  • A Rust “port” of the library. Actually, it won’t be an 1:1 port, as I intend to use Rust’s unique expressiveness to develop a library that feels like a library that was born with Rust in mind.
  • An enhanced, non-slow and not resource-hungry implementation (maybe Rust, maybe C++) of the trsst project.

EDIT (2016/03/20):

And for now, I need to re-read all messages given for the review and register associated issues in the project’s issue tracker.

That part is done: https://github.com/boostgsoc14/boost.http/issues?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=is%3Aissue+label%3Aboost-review+

I’d like to have something ready by January, but it’ll probably take 6 months to 1 year before I submit the library again.

I think I was being too optimistic when I commented “6 months”. It’d only be possible to complete it within 6 months if Boost.Http was the only project I was developing. Of course I have a job and university and the splitted focus wouldn’t allow me to finish the library in just this small amount of time.

Boost.Http scheduled for review

February last year, I was writing an email to the Boost user mailing list, asking for feedback on an HTTP server library proposal. Later that year, I got the news that I was to receive funds through Google to work on such proposal. And I had delivered a library by the asked timeframe. However, getting the library into Boost is another game. You must pass through the review process if you want to integrate some library into Boost. And I’d like to announce that my library is finally going to be reviewed starting on Friday.

Some links:

After working on this project for more than a year, I’m pretty glad it finally reached this milestone. And I’m very confident about the review.

I had written about this project so much here and there that when the time to write about it in my own blog comes, I don’t have many words left. It’s a good thing to leave as much info on the documentation itself and don’t spread info everywhere or try to lure users into my blog by providing little information on the documentation.

Suggestion: 8+1 languages worth learning


Every now and then I have contact with a few programming languages and this is the subset that I believe it would give me a very close insight to the sum of the all languages that I’ve had contact with. Also, this subset is not only based on the choice of ideas that each language aggregate, but also on their usefulness and importance for the general programmer’s toolbox.


Just about the most awesome way to describe and manipulate words from regular languages. No matter if it’s used as communication purposes within some specification or if it’s used to crawl certain patterns within a large collection of texts. It’s useful even within the programming environment itself. And to contribute to its awesomeness, it’s one of the easiest and fastest things to learn. It’s useful even for non-programmers (think about that time when you want to rename all files from a folder to have better consistency).

You can visualize regex patterns using Regexper or any of its competitors.


Started as a simple tool to pretify common syntax used in text-based email. But now just about almost every major site visited by programmers (e.g. StackOverflow, Reddit, GitHub, Doxygen-generated ones) has some support for MarkDown. Or its recent attempt for a smart standardization to spread good common practices and inspire better interoperability among supporting tools.

You can think of MarkDown as a simple way to describe which parts of the text will be bold or will be the tittle for a subsection and so on. MarkDown is simple! MarkDown is simple enough to be accepted in non-programmer targeted products like blogging platforms (even WordPress) or discussion platforms.


A language that appeared in 1972 that is still interesting and it’s still important. Being the “portable Assembly”, operating system’s kernels are still written in C. Pieces of software dealing with low-level are still written in C. Embedded projects are still written in C.

C is not a popular language out of merits. C is just the right abstraction to forget about Assembly, but still have no overhead between your software and the machine. Compilers will do a fantastic job in no time for you.

C is an easy language to learn, adding just a few handful abstractions like subroutines and structures to learn. Of course, C is very low-level and you’re expected to face manual memory management (and memory leaks), bit by bit serialization, pointer to functions (no closures here), architecture and operating system differences and maybe things like varargs, setjmp and mmap. You should be able to understand the implications on performance some decision has. This insight is something C has been a great language at and will hardly be acquired learning another language.


Haskell is one of the languages I learnt this year. It’s a typed purely functional language. It’s a great language. It has great concepts to decrease the total number of lines of code you should write (like list comprehensions and pattern matching), a clever syntax and some great concepts you could learn (higher-order functions, currying, lazy evaluation…).

Not all about Haskell was new to me, as I had already learn functional programming through Scheme some years ago, but Haskell does a much better job. I hate Lisp naming conventions (car for the head of the list, seriously) and excessive number of parentheses. You shouldn’t have to follow my path. You should be introduced to functional programming with Haskell.

Also, look at how elegant this QuickSort is:


Ruby is another of these languages I learnt this year. It’s a purely object-oriented language. Some cleverness was invested around its syntax and I very much appreciate this. It’s a very dynamic language where every class is open and even things like attr_reader are methods.

Object-oriented programming is one of these must-have skills for a programmer and I think Ruby, being purely object-oriented, is a great language to learn this paradigm. Hide and encapsulate!

I choose to learn Ruby looking for a scripting language to empower a possible game engine that I might code. Ruby really impressed me. Ruby is so dynamic that even if I design a wrong class hierarchy or something, Ruby probably has a way to fix it. I don’t intend to design bad hierarchies, but I don’t know who will use my possible future game engine and this concern then becomes undeniably important.


One of the worst languages I’ve ever seen. But also one of the best languages I’ve ever seen (yep, out there you can find programming languages that would surprise you in the bad way). This language is not what I’d like to be the most popular, but it’s just enough to not be hated. Also, it runs on about every web browser, which is like… everywhere. Importance and interoperability. It’s like you really need to know JavaScript.

JavaScript is like the assembly for the web. You’ll find many tools that translate source code from some language into JavaScript just to enable execution within the browser. Once developed to the browser, JavaScript has grow since and now it’s popular even on the server-side. JavaScript also conquered the smart-side.

Not knowing anything about JavaScript is almost like not knowing how to read in the programming industry. It’s a terrible language full of bad decisions, but it’s the common denominator of the web development.

Learning JavaScript also may help to solidify concepts you should know like asynchronous APIs, JSON and some others.


Responsible for most of the web traffic, this is a pretty important and simple language to understand how web documents are structured. If you think I’m overestimating web, it’s because it’s one of the greatest things we have. But XML is not only about web, it’s about interoperable documents and protocols and it is used as such. You can find XML in use within vector formats, formats for office applications and even chat protocols. I think learning the basics of XML is a big deal.


I personally think that the LaTeX tools aren’t among the most polished tools. Just look at the Makefile generated by Doxygen to see the run-until-no-more-differences-found loop to work around inconveniences in the LaTeX tools. Or just look at the terrible error messages. Also, the syntax isn’t surprisingly pleasant.

But when you want to focus on the content, forget about the accumulated little formatting details and produce beautiful scientific papers, a book with consistently in-between linked references or even just a few math formulas, LaTeX is probably what you should, at least, consider.

Bonus: bash

Capable to automate the most surprising tasks in a computer, if you are using an Unix variant system. You could automate builds, customize software startup sequences and manage your system. But if you’re using an Unix variant system, you already may be aware of that.


No Java, C++ or Python in this list. Maybe I’ll do a part 2 of this article containing languages with a lesser chance to be used like SQL, MongoDB, OpenGL, R, GStreamer or some Assembly. Actually, I think Java, C++ and Python have a better chance to be used than Haskell, but if you learn every language in this list, C++, Java and Python will be easy to catch up and the lines of code you write will be more elegant.

PHP case: one vision, two approaches

Till today, I didn’t read a post defending PHP. There are all these texts attacking the language. And I dislike most of these texts I’ve read. I don’t like the attacked PHP language either. But what I dislike above all is the excessive use of fallacies. How could we have a logical discussion if we keep using them?

I don’t mind if you share a personal experience that cannot be used to prove a statement. If we’re lucky, your experience might be fun to read or will teach us to avoid specific behaviour in specific circumstances that may apply in specific ages.

I don’t mind if you carefully expose facts that the creators want to hide from us to affect our level of trust to such creators, as long as you use evidences to sustain such facts. You aren’t trying to logically prove something, but you text is also useful.

I don’t even mind if you create a text completely relying on fallacies, but I mind a lot if someone use such text to justify a decision. These texts, to my experience, tend to be fun anyway.

So, there are the two following linked texts about PHP, and in one of two, the author demonstrate more PHP knowledge than the other. Which one deserves more of your trust/attention?

Palestra: Acessibilidade na web – principais problemas e soluções

Eu sempre me preocupei com acessibilidade, até um certo ponto, mas nessa situação costumei ser o tipo de “preocupado passivo”, não agindo muito mais que o básico. Entretanto, tem uma palestra que ocorreu no FISL14 sobre acessibilidade que me mostrou que um pouco de conhecimento é tudo que você precisa para melhorar muito a acessibilidade do conteúdo que você cria, pois o esforço necessário costuma ser negligenciável (tarefas que você precisa fazer de qualquer forma, mas fazer pensando na acessibilidade).

Enfim, assistir essa palestra é algo que eu recomendo a todos que criam conteúdo na web:

Vídeo: http://hemingway.softwarelivre.org/fisl14/high/40a/sala40a-high-201307051155.ogg

Slides: http://pt.slideshare.net/julianafrost/acessibilidade-na-web-principais-problemas-e-solues

Essa palestra foi o que me ensinou a evitar links do tipo “clique aqui para saber mais” aqui nesse blog. Minha preocupação só diminui quando o conteúdo é inacessível de qualquer forma (filtros de imagens, por exemplo).

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