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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D046769/1
Title: Links: Linking Theory to Practice for the Web
Principal Investigator: Wadler, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Stark, Dr I Buneman, Professor OP Sannella, Professor D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Professor D Aspinall
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Informatics
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 December 2005 Ends: 31 January 2009 Value (£): 306,154
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Fundamentals of Computing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
e-Commerce, e-Government, e-Science --- the coining of such wordsreflects the growing importance of the World Wide Web in all aspectsof our lives. Consumer spending on the web in Britain exceeds12 billion pounds a year.A typical web program involves three tiers. The front-end is thebrowser running on your computer. The middle-tier is a server,executing the logic that controls your interaction with the web site.The back-end is a database, providing the information you wish toaccess, such as a catalog of items for purchase, a collection ofgovernment records, or a store of scientific data.The programmer must master amyriad of languages: the logic is written in a mixture of Java,Python, and Perl; the forms in HTML, XML, and Javascript; and thequeries are written in SQL or XQuery. There is no easy way to linkthese --- to be sure that a form in HTML or a query in SQL producesdata of a type that the logic in Java expects. This is called theimpedance mismatch problem.Links will solve the impedance mismatch problem by providing a singlelanguage for all three tiers. The system will be responsible fordistributing tasks among tiers and translating into suitable languagesfor each tier --- for instance, translating part of a program intoJavascript to run in the browser, Java to run on the server, and SQLto run on the database. Links will incorporate ideas proven in otherprogramming languages: support for database programming from Kleisli,for XML programming from Xduce, for web interaction from PLT Scheme,and for distribution from Erlang. It will be developed by aconsortium, as were ML and Haskell. Like all of these languages, itwill be functional.Support is sought for one PhD studentship and one RA for threeyears, costing 292K for 36 months. Letters of support are attachedfrom two commercial web firms, LShift and Run Deep.
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Organisation Website: http://www.ed.ac.uk