The Anatomy of a HTTP server

Greetings fellow Clojurians,

The upside of looking for work is that it leaves time to be creative. Over the course of a week, I dedicated my mornings - when I’m at peak mental clarity - to creating content for my blog. The latest entry is an in-depth post on the topic of HTTP and web application development.

We start with a minimalist web server that soon enough honors the semantics of HTTP/1.1 GET requests. Then, we write a Ring adapter for our server, decoupling the nitty-gritty from application logic.

This whirlwind tour sheds light on the design of web frameworks that emerged in all language communities (Servlets, WSGI or Rack), reflecting the need to standardize around a portable interface abstracting HTTP.

At the same time, I went to great length documenting the experience of living and breathing at the REPL. Throughout the post, I explain each decision point and experimentation that ultimately led me to the final design. I know beginners often struggle with REPL-oriented development and I hope this will be helpful in a Show, don’t tell manner.

For advanced users, feel free to skip the introductory sections and jump to the final code. I welcome contributions from the community that keep the spirit of the exercise: no external dependencies, single namespace, brevity and simplicity of code.

You will find the The Anatomy of a HTTP server on my blog dedicated to Lisp programming.

As always, feedback is most welcome! Thank you!