HOP: A Language for Programming the Web 2.0

Posted in Conferences, Companies, Web Technologies, Development on February 04, 2009

The slides for this talk are available at http://hop.inria.fr/talks/hopdiffuse.xhtml.gz

Every day, electronic equipment becomes cheaper and smaller than the day before. At the same time, computer networks cover larger and larger areas of the planet. Combining these two technological improvements is likely to give birth to new application fields such as the "internet of things" or the "ambient intelligence". However developing the innovative applications made possible by this new infrastructure is currently challenging. Firstly, because they are new and yet difficult to imagine. Secondly, because from a computer scientist perspective, suitable tools are lacking.

To help face this problem, we have conceived the HOP programming language whose syntax and semantics are specially crafted for programming distributed "diffuse" applications. HOP is built on top of standard Web technologies, which it uses as the components of a virtual machine. This provides HOP with several assets such as portability, availability, and versatility.

In order to demonstrate that HOP, and its SDK, can be used to program realistic applications, we have started to develop a number of diffuse HOP applications. During the presentation we will present two of them and we will sketch some aspects of their implementation. The first one is a ubiquitous home media center. The second one is a diffuse home automation system.

Speaker: Manuel Serrano
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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