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RE: Continuations

At 8:16 PM -0400 8/9/03, Anton van Straaten wrote:
>One area where continuations may find explicit use in the real world is in
>web servers.  If you set hype mode on, the Parrot VM could be the next hot
>platform for web applications due to its continuation capability (assuming
>continuations will be sufficiently exposed that web frameworks can take
>advantage of it).

Hopefully if I ever set hype mode that on someone'll do me the favor 
of smacking me in the head. :) Still, it is definitely a useful 
thing, albeit one that makes me nervous about scaling issues. Trading 
continuations across threads is a potential headache, but trading 
them across processes or servers is... interesting. Regardless, the 
serialization scheme is supposed to make this possible, though it's 
geared more towards slinging objects around rather than 
continuations. (As objects don't really need to deal with internal 
interpreter state the way continuations do)

>Re confusion about continuations, much of that exists because people have an
>ingrained notion of control flow based on the call/return model, which can
>be difficult to let go of.  If developers aren't taught from day one that
>all functions always return to their caller, they'll have an improved
>understanding of programming in general, and continuations won't seem nearly
>as confusing.

Definitely. Teaching continuations while taking into consideration 
this mindset would also help quite a lot.

--------------------------------------"it's like this"-------------------
Dan Sugalski                          even samurai
dan@sidhe.org                         have teddy bears and even
                                       teddy bears get drunk